Selecting A Contractor

Trade membership to an association usually indicates the contractor is concerned by the quality of work performed by their industry.

The Better Business Bureau maintains a list of complaints against companies. Phone to verify no complaint has been warranted.

Know what type of qualifications the contractor has. Ask them what qualifications and technical education or training they and their employees have.

The best recommendation usually comes from satisfied customers. Ask friends, family and neighbours if they have recent work done to their satisfaction.

Make sure the contractor is able to the work you need done and the size of the work to be done is suited to their size of business.

Check to ensure the contractor is familiar with local building codes and will obtain the necessary permits to do the work.

Check to ensure the contractor provide for disposal of debris and will be responsible for ensuring the site is cleaned daily and when the job is completed.

Check to ensure the contractor has worker's compensation insurance and liability insurance.

It is recommended that at least three written estimates be provided. All work should be outlined in a written estimate that explains the work to be done, quality of materials, guarantees and warranties. References should be obtained from the contractor to verify the quality of work you should expect.

The written contract should include the work to be done, quality of materials, guarantees and warranties, expected start and completion date, cost of work and payment schedule (10%-20% should be held back until the lien period has expired). Extra cost should be authorized. Written contracts should have the name, address & phone number of the company/person doing the work.

As work is being done ensure the work is being done in a workman like fashion. Ensure all inspections are done as required by law. Obtain copies of necessary permits. Do not make any final payment until the work has been done to your satisfaction. An arbitration clause will help avoid expensive court cases. Ensure these are arrangements are satisfactory to your contractor.

Keep a copy of all contracts including guarantees, warranties, owners manuals etc..