Tips on Hiring a Great Contractor

Home Inspection Contractor

The following article was published in September's Snap Coquitlam Newspaper.

And just like that, it’s September. With summer ending, my family is taking stock of what was, and was not, accomplished during the school break. Unfortunately, in our small house, with a toddler and a preschooler running around, not as many jobs around the house were finished as we would like. With some maintenance best done before winter, we will be hiring some help to get a few things finished.

Hiring the right contractor for a job around the house can be a challenge. Get the right person, and the job will be on budget and looking better than you dreamed. Hire the wrong person, and the money may be gone without the job done.

Here are some tips on finding a great contractor:

Know What You Are Looking For - Before you call contractors, know the scope of the job, the materials you want used, and details like the colour of the paint. This will help contractors give you an accurate quote and you will know what skills they should have.

References - Family and friends can offer great references. Contractors who are proud of their work will also have pictures and testimonials of past work. Better yet, go see the previous work they have done.

Communication - You should find communication with your contractor natural and easy. If you struggle to understand each other during the job consultation, you will likely struggle through the whole job and you may not be happy with the results.

Get at least 3 Quotes - Contractor prices can vary widely and prices don’t always correlate to the quality of work. Avoid contractors who want cash payments upfront.

Get it in Writing - A quality contractor has no problem putting things in writing. At minimum, get in writing:

  • What work is to be performed
  • Quality of Materials to be used
  • Start Dates, Milestone Dates, and Completion Dates
  • Agreed Price for the job and a payment schedule
  • Declaration that all workers will have required training, permits, and insurance
  • Proof that all workers are covered by WorkSafe BC (really important)
  • Written Warranties on the work performed

When the job is done, don’t be afraid to have your contractor's work checked by an expert like a Home Inspector. Most Home Inspectors can offer you an hourly rate to review recent work and provide a written report so you know your home is safe and solid.

By James Bell - Owner/Operator of Solid State Inspections Inc.

See our full article on tips for hiring a contractor at this link.