5 Tips for Hiring a Home Contractor

You checked the web, and talked to a realtor at an open house, now here are our tips for hiring a home contractor. 

What’s the big deal?

Hiring a reputable home contractor could be that simple. But if it doesn’t work out, what you should  know before hiring a contractor is that:

  • a signed, dated contract is a must
  • your home renovator should offer a warranty
  • you have legal options if something goes wrong, but they can be costly.

If you want to know what not to say to a contractor, here are 5 tips for hiring a home contractor.

When to sue if your home reno doesn’t work out.

Best Tips for Hiring a Home Contractor 

What you should know before hiring a contractor is the services they provide, what reputation they have, and how they will fix anything that goes wrong. 

  1. Make a checklist of the renos you want and what you can afford.

Top of the list of helpful tips for hiring a home contractor is your wish list. Don’t get talked into renovations you don’t want or need. Before you interview home contractors, start with a wish list of what you want. You can always pare it down based on what you can afford.

       2. Ask around for references.

Satisfied customers, especially those you know at work or from your neighbourhood, have some of the best tips for hiring a home contractor. Find others who have gone down the same path and ask who they used. Look on Better Business Bureau, Canadian Home Builders Association, and local supplier websites for customer reviews and tips on hiring a home contractor.  Verify that customers are still satisfied with a contractor’s work after some time has elapsed. Problems may not show up immediately, and past customers may not be as content as those a contractor dealt with more recently.

Mortgaging a secondary dwelling when you hire a laneway suite contractor. 

       3. Get written estimates.

Ontario consumer protection law requires home renovation contracts over $50 to be in writing. Get at least three estimates so you can compare an itemized list of products, prices, and services. (More tips for hiring home contractors: be sure you are comparing apples to apples.)

       4. Avoid all-cash deals.

What to watch out for with contractors? Home renovators who ask for payment in cash may be evading paying taxes, and be difficult to track down after the work is done. With no receipts to prove what you paid, you may be disbelieved if you go to court, or pursued by Canada Revenue Agency yourself. No workers’ compensation coverage could make you financially liable if a labourer they hire gets hurt. Add this to your list of tips for hiring home contractors: asking home renovators for proof of Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) coverage.

       5. Minimize down payments and hold back 10%.

Final advice in our tips for hiring home contractors: include a hold back in your contract. Keeping down payments for services to 10% can protect you if a contractor skips out before the work is done, is fraudulent, or does poor work. A 10% hold back is standard, and gives you time to assess the workmanship before paying the final bill.

Home warranties when hiring an income suite contractor, Ottawa, or the GTA

Why You Need a Real Estate Lawyer (Ontario)

Axess Law keeps your home renovation project moving ahead when you refinance your mortgage by changing lenders.

Adding a spouse to title to your property to co-sign for major repairs or additions to your home is no hassle when you use Axess Law. We search property titles for contractor liens on houses in Ontario, or other financial encumbrances that could delay or prevent a title transfer.

Can a contractor put a lien on my house in Ontario? 

Mortgage lenders you borrow from use your home as security in case you default on your financial obligations. Using Axess Law to add a lender to the title ensures your transaction is legally binding. Whether you are taking advantage of mortgage refinancing, or adding a home equity line of credit by changing lenders, we prepare the legal documentation you require.

How to discharge your existing mortgage and add a new mortgage when you buy Ontario property. 

And when you’re ready to sell your investment property or home, Axess Law completes the transaction by liaising with your realtor and the buyer’s lawyer. We discharge old mortgages, and finalize new lender financing you may require. We even review your agreement of purchase and sale to ensure it includes essential clauses to protect you against a buyer withdrawing without your mutual agreement.

What to look for in buyer’s right to cancel clauses. <add link here>

Problems with a buyer who refuses to close the deal without concessions you prefer not to make? We negotiate with the buyer’s lawyer, or if that won’t resolve the dispute, refer you to our trusted legal partners for further advice.

Affordable Legal Services for Mortgage Refinancing

Axess Law keeps our legal fees low by giving you only the legal services you need. You pay hourly for traditional lawyer services. Axess Law’s flat fee legal services are all-inclusive. You avoid annoying extra charges or surprises when you receive your final statement.

Calculate land transfer taxes in Ontario

Refinancing a mortgage starts at only $799.99 and up plus HST when you use Axess Law’s in-person or virtual lawyer services. Buying a home? You pay only $999.99 and up plus HST or $799.99 and up plus HST to sell land or property in Ontario. Add a family member to a house title in Ontario for just $649.99 and up plus HST.

Phone or Online Appointments Made

Make appointments in minutes using Axess Law’s online booking form or call our 647-479-0118 lawyer line today (toll free to 877-402-4207) to talk to a live operator. We pick days and times convenient for you, day or evening, 7 days a week.

When you prefer not to leave home, Axess Law is a leader in virtual legal services. You can trust us for secure, confidential legal assistance. Axess Law’s virtual real estate lawyers can consult with you by remote video conference anywhere in Ontario. E-sign mortgage refinancing documents online or, if preferred, we courier documents to you to sign and return.

Axess Law has real estate lawyers in Toronto, Greater Toronto Area or Ottawa. Drop by any law office to make appointments. We have onsite parking and easy transit access. 

Related Articles