As homeowners we all wonder what questions to ask a contractor to avoid a potentially horrible situation. We have all heard nightmare stories of home renovations gone wrong but how can anyone be sure this wont happen to them? At Trusted Regina we believe we can help. Trusted Regina was formed to help the public find local businesses you can TRUST. In this article we share some of the ways we research businesses to ensure we have the best local contractors. Giving you peace of mind knowing you have hired someone you can TRUST to do the job right.
Requesting proof of insurance is one of the first steps in searching for a quality and Trusted Regina contractor.
Are they Insured ? Any good contractor should carry liability and worker’s compensation Insurance this is something you should always require a contractor to have.
Contractor Liability Insurance
This will protect you if a contractor creates damage to your home, neighboring properties or injury to a third party that may occur during the renovation. Ask to see a Certificate of Insurance; it should state the name and address of the contractor, the amount of general liability, including coverage for bodily injury and property damage, and the effective and expiry dates of the policy as well as the date of issue of the certificate. Once you know the contractors liability coverage take it to your Insurance provider to ensure you are fully covered during the renovation as a renovation may require you to increase your coverage for a period of time.
Except for single-person companies, Contractors are required by law to pay WCB premiums on behalf of their employees in the event of a workplace injury. Hiring a contractor that is not in compliance makes YOU the homeowner the project manager and liable for ANY injuries occurred during the renovation. Request a letter of good standing to ensure their premiums are paid up.
Ask for references
When anyone applies for a job they are required to provide references. Why should a contractor be any different! At Trusted we ask for so many references it's borderline obscene... it is A LOT and we call them all!. We don't anticipate you calling the number we do but we do think it is always a good idea to request references and that you call them. Typed references or letters of recommendation are ok but a voice and a person are always best.
There are two types of references you should request.
Gaining a list of people who have used there service is extremely helpful and an indication of the amount of jobs they have done. Asking if they did a good job is not always a good indication of the quality of their work and dedication to customer service. Dig deeper. here are some suggested questions. - How did you find the contractor? how many jobs have they done for you? Would you hire them again? Would you recommend them to a family member? Did they finish the job on time? Did they charge you the price quoted? We have the 5 Trusted Guarantees and all of our contractors have to uphold them these are only some of the questions we ask.
Though not always foolproof, supplier references are very important and help give some insight as to weather or not the contractor pays it's suppliers on time. Which may in turn help you protect yourself from creditor liabilities. Builders lien's are something you should know about and try to avoid!. Here is a great article on how to avoid a builders lien.
Check their online rating and memberships
Another way to check and see if a contractor is worth hiring it to check sources like Trusted Regina to see if they have been put through a process of ensuring that they are who they claim to be. This is also are a very strong indicator of a company's commitment to professionalism. You should also search to see if any complaints have been made about them online and how they dealt with those complaints. From time to time mistakes can happen. But it is how a company deals with those mistakes that can show a great deal about how they would deal with you.
Experience, education and certification
Trade licencing requirements
A contractor should easily be able to tell you how long they have been in business and have a valid business licence. Beyond that there are other things you should ask. Depending on the type of work you want done there are licencing requirements for different trades in Saskatchewan. Ensuring that each trade has the proper licencing can prevent major issues down the line. In Saskatchewan there are four compulsory apprenticeship trades. Electrician, Plumber, Refrigeration Mechanic and Sheet Metal Worker. To work in a compulsory apprenticeship trade you must have a journey person certificate or be registered as an apprentice with the SATCC. If one of the trades your contractor has working on your project claims to be a professional in this area ask for their certification.
Ask for Examples of their work
Most contractors have tons of images of work they have done in the past. See examples of their work can give you a good indication of the type of work they can do. We do caution you however that sometimes that though they may be very lovely images you can't always be sure of the quality of the underlying work!
We hope this article helps you find the right contractor for your renovation project. We always hope you choose one of our Trusted Regina Contractors for any of your projects.
If you are looking for more information about hiring a contractor we have several other articles that can help steer you in the right direction.