If you’re looking to hire a contractor, there are some steps to take before signing a contract to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars. Here’s a few tips:
Know specifically what you want as the end product. This will help to communicate with a contractor, get an accurate estimate, and avoid incurring costs for work done that you didn’t really want.
If you are hiring a Red Seal trade, ask to see their certification. This is for all major trades like carpentry, plumbing, or electrical.
Verify WorkSafeBC coverage. This means that if they are injured while working for you, they have insured themselves and you won’t be involved in any claim.
Ask for references and check them. And check them. And check them. Ask around as well to get references that they may not provide directly.
Check with the city to see if they have a valid business licence and to determine what permits would be required. Business licenses are only required within municipalities.
Check for warning signs of a scam. Avoid contractors who behave in the following ways:
- If they provide a credential or reference that can’t be verified.
- If they use high-pressure sales tactics like limited time offers.
- If they require large deposits or the entire project payment before the work begins.
- If they do not provide a written contract or complete estimate for large projects.
- If they say that permits are not required. Most work, even minor electrical, plumbing or framing work, is regulated by a bylaw or regulation and should be inspected.
- If they make you an offer that sounds “too good to be true.” It probably is too good and not true.
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