Trusted Tips and Resources

Trusted Tips & Resources

Trusted Tip How to hire a local qualified contractor for your Regina home improvement or renovation project.

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.   

Workers Compensation

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.

Client References:

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. 

Supplier references

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!

More info...

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.




Al Schick Construction Trusted Regina Contractor and Renovators tip on hiring a Contractor

If it's time to finally finish that basement or the year you refresh that tired old bathroom, maybe your office could use a redesign and some upgrades. Whether you are planning a renovation to your home or office space, AL SCHICK CONSTRUCTION can help!  They specialize in residential and commercial projects including interior and exterior renovations....from offices to old character and newly built homes. If you are planning a project or a renovation on a specific area of your home or business, look to the experts at AL SCHICK Construction to get the job done right! AL SCHICK CONSTRUCTION a TRUSTED REGINA CONTRACTOR and Renovation Expert

Al's a tip on hiring a Contractor


Adding a room, renovating a basement, or doing some much-needed repairs? Finding a good contractor is important — a home improvement project gone wrong can cost you. A good ad isn’t proof a contractor does quality work. Find out for yourself. Check with friends, neighbours, or co-workers who’ve had improvement work done, and check out a contractor’s reputation on online review sites you trust( Like Trusted Regina ). Get written estimates from several firms, keeping in mind the lowest bidder may not be the best choice. Also important: know the signs of a scam.

Finding a Contractor

Depending on how big or complex a project is, you might hire a:

  • general contractor, who manages all aspects of a project, including hiring and supervising subcontractors, getting building permits, and scheduling inspections
  • specialty contractor, who installs particular products like cabinets and bathroom fixtures
  • architect, who designs homes, additions, and major renovations — especially ones involving structural changes
  • designer or design/build contractor, who provides both services

 

Do Your Research

Check with friends, neighbours, or co-workers who’ve used a contractor

If you can, take a look at the work done and ask about their experience.

Look at sites you trust that post ratings and reviews

Do people seem to have similar experiences, good or bad? You also can check out a contractor’s online reputation by searching for the company’s name with words like “scam,” “rip-off,” or “complaint.”


Find out how long they’ve been in business

Look for an established company whose record and reputation you can check out.

Check for qualifications, like licensing

Many states, but not all, require contractors to be licensed and/or bonded. Check with your local building department or consumer protection agency to find out about licensing requirements in your area. Licensing can range from simple registration to a detailed qualification process. If your state or locality has licensing laws, make sure the contractor’s license is current.

Before You Hire a Contractor

Get Estimates

Once you’ve narrowed your options, get written estimates from several firms. Don’t automatically choose the lowest bidder. Ask for an explanation to see if there’s a reason for the difference in price.

Ask Questions

How many projects like mine have you completed in the last year?

Ask for a list so you can see how familiar the contractor is with your type of project.

Will my project require a permit?

Most states and localities require permits for building projects, even for simple jobs like decks. A competent contractor will get all the necessary permits before starting work on your project. You may want to choose a contractor familiar with the permitting process in your county, city, or town.

May I have a list of references?

A contractor should be able to give you the names, addresses, and phone numbers of at least three clients with projects like yours. Ask each client how long ago the project was and whether it was completed on time. Was the client satisfied? Were there any unexpected costs? Did workers show up on time and clean up after finishing the job? You also could tell the contractor that you’d like to visit jobs in progress.

What types of insurance do you carry?

Contractors should have:

  • personal liability
  • worker’s compensation
  • property damage coverage

Ask for copies of insurance certificates, and make sure they’re current, or you could be held liable for any injuries and damages that occur during the project.

Will you be using subcontractors on this project?

If so, make sure the subcontractors have current insurance coverage and licenses, too, if required.

To find builders, remodelers, and related providers in your area that are members of the National Association of Home Builders, visit nahb.org. To find detailed information about a builder, service provider, or remodeler in your area, contact your local home builders association.

Understand Your Payment Options

Don’t pay cash

For smaller projects, you can pay by check or credit card. Many people finance larger projects.

Try to limit your down payment

Some state laws limit the amount of money a contractor can request as a down payment. 

Try to make payments during the project contingent upon completion of defined amounts of work

This way, if the work isn’t going according to schedule, the payments to your contractor also are delayed.

Get a Written Contract

Contract requirements vary by state. Even if your state doesn’t require a written agreement, ask for one. It should be clear and concise and include the who, what, where, when, and cost of your project. Before you sign a contract, make sure it includes:

  • the contractor’s name, address, phone, and license number (if required)
  • an estimated start and completion date
  • the payment schedule for the contractor, subcontractors, and suppliers
  • the contractor’s obligation to get all necessary permits
  • how change orders are handled. A change order is a written authorization to the contractor to make a change or addition to the work described in the original contract and could affect the project’s cost and schedule.
  • a detailed list of all materials including each product’s colour, model, size, and brand. If some materials will be chosen later, the contract should say who’s responsible for choosing each item and how much money is budgeted for it (this is also known as the “allowance”).
  • information about warranties covering materials and workmanship, with names and addresses of who is honouring them — the contractor, distributor, or manufacturer. The length of the warranty period and any limitations also should be spelled out.
  • what the contractor will and won’t do. For example, is site clean-up and trash hauling included in the price? Ask for a "broom clause" that makes the contractor responsible for all clean-up work, including spills and stains.
  • any promises made during conversations or calls. If they don’t remember, you may be out of luck — or charged extra.
  • a written statement of your right to cancel the contract within three business days if you signed it in your home or at a location other than the seller’s permanent place of business.


 

Al Schick Construction Trusted Regina Contractor and Renovation Expert tip on Hiring a Professional Contractor

If it's time to finally finish that basement or the year you refresh that tired old bathroom, maybe your office could use a redesign and some upgrades. Whether you are planning a renovation to your home or office space, AL SCHICK CONSTRUCTION can help!  They specialize in residential and commercial projects including interior and exterior renovations....from offices to old character and newly built homes. If you are planning a project or a renovation on a specific area of your home or business, look to the experts at AL SCHICK Construction to get the job done right! AL SCHICK CONSTRUCTION a TRUSTED REGINA CONTRACTOR and Renovation Expert

Here Al Tip on Hiring a Professional Contractor In Regina 

Before you consider hiring a contractor to complete repairs, regular maintenance or home renovations, make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. Depending on the type of work want to be done, you may need to contact a contractor with specialized expertise. Ask lots of questions, research your options, and make sure all contractual obligations and payment terms are included in a signed contract. The following tips can help you when looking to hire a reputable professional. 

Research your options and consider contacting your local renovation and/or home builder associations for a list of professional service providers.

Get quotes from more than one renovator or service provider. This will help you compare prices and levels of customer service; be sure to discuss your project expectations, timelines, costs and possible interruption factors.

Ask questions about the company and the work to be completed, including:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • What is your area of expertise?
  • Will you use your own staff for subcontractors to complete the work?
  • What permits are required for the project?
  • How much time will you spend supervising the site?
  • How do you manage health and safety concerns on the site?
  • What level of insurance coverage do you have?
  • Do a background check and consider contacting the following agencies before selecting a service provider:

Information Services Corporation Branch (306-787-2962) to make sure the business is registered as a legal entity in Sk.

Workersʼ Compensation Board (306-787-4370) to make sure the company carries workersʼ compensation coverage. Without coverage, you may be liable for injuries that occur while staff are completing work in your home;

Better Business Bureau (306-352-7601) to see if any complaints have been registered against the company; 

Consumer Protection Branch (1-877-889-5550) to confirm your contractorʼs direct seller's license, if applicable. Licensed contractors are required to be bonded, which will provide you with some financial compensation in the event that problems arise during construction.

  • Ask about warrant options– warranty coverage differs from company to company, make sure you understand what type or warranty is included and what it covers.
  • Discuss payment options and get a cost break down of what is included in your estimate. Depending on whether your contractor offers a “fixed-price” or a “cost-plus” quote, different materials, labour and overhead will be included in the quoted price or charged in addition to the quoted price. Typical payment plans can require a 10 percent down payment and the rest in installments.
  • Get a contract – a detailed written contract between you and the service provider is essential to any renovation or home repair project. All details should be included in writing, including start/finish dates, warranties on work and/or materials and the total project costs and payment plans. Never hire a renovator or service provider that refuses to provide a written contract.

Ask for and check references of past customers that had similar projects done with the contractor over the last two years. When checking references, you may wish to ask for the following information:

  • If the project was completed on time;
  • If they were happy with the results;
  • If they were satisfied with the level of communication and customer service during and after the project was completed;
  • If there were any cost over-runs;
  • If employees left the site satisfactorily cleaned up after the home improvement project was finished.

Never hire a contractor that only accepts cash, offers unreasonable or extremely low prices compared to others, does not offer a written contract, and does not have an official address. These are warning signs of unethical business practices and can be an indication of future problems. Do not feel pressured to sign into a quick agreement – before making a decision, seek written quotes from at least two other contractors or service providers.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) have a simple checklist of steps that can help you choose the right contractor for any home remodelling project. You can view the checklist online by visiting www.cmhc.ca and searching “Renovation Checklist.” If your project is very large and involves thousands of dollars it may be wise to obtain a lawyer to help you with the contract.

 






 AL SCHICK CONSTRUCTION a TRUSTED REGINA CONTRACTOR and Renovation Expert



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