9 Questions You Should Ask Your Contractor Before Hiring

9 Questions You Should Ask Your Contractor Before Hiring

For large home improvement projects like kitchen remodelling or bathroom renovations, doing it yourself can be daunting—and even risky.

A lot goes into a home renovation project, and it’s important to work with a contractor who will take the time to understand your needs and design and execute a plan that fits your vision, budget and lifestyle.

Hiring a renovation contractor in a big city like Toronto can be tricky because there are a lot of options, but some contractors are more reputable and reliable than others. Fortunately, there are a few questions you can ask that will help you determine whether you’re dealing with someone reputable, or someone who raises red flags.

Below are nine questions you should ask any contractor before hiring them to handle your home renovation project.

  1. Do you have references?

    A reputable contractor will have several past customers who have been happy with their work in the past, so don’t be afraid to ask for a couple of names. When you reach out to their references, ask about whether their expectations were met, if the project came in on budget, and what the best and worst parts about working with the contractor were.

  2. What’s the full price, and can you itemize it?

    While the full price is ultimately important, an itemized list allows you to compare quotes between contractors better. Seeing each item broken out on its own line will also let you identify areas where you could skimp or save to bring the total cost down.

  3. How much experience do you have in my neighbourhood?

    A contractor’s business is built on reputation and referrals. If a contractor has done a lot of work in your area, then chances are your neighbours have been happy with their work in the past.

  4. Are you licensed and insured?

    Certain types of work require specific licenses—for example, plumbing and electrical work—so you want to make sure your contractor is properly accredited. You also want to make sure they’re insured so that, should any injuries occur during the work; you’re not held responsible.

  5. Are you a member of any local associations?

    Local and provincial Home Builders Associations provide courses and ongoing training to builders and contractors, so when a contractor is a member of their local association, it’s a good sign that they’re fully up to date on best practices and committed to continually improving their craft.

  6. Will this project require obtaining any building permits?

    Most big jobs will necessitate obtaining building permits from the city. If a contractor insists that work can be done without a permit, consider it a red flag, and pose the same question to another contractor.

  7. What’s the timeframe for completion?

    It’s important to agree to a clear timeframe upfront. If you have a specific deadline in which you need the work to be done, make sure you communicate that to your contractor from the start. But bear in mind that delays are almost inevitable.

    There are some things contractors can’t see or anticipate until they get started, so you should assume that the job will take slightly longer than agreed upon and build that into your expected completion date.

  8. Who will be doing the work?

    The person who you deal with when you hire a contractor is not necessarily the person who will be coming into your home each day. Ask about who will be doing the work, what their experience is, and whether or not you can meet them in advance.

  9. Can I get this all in writing?

    All of the above should be covered in a written contract that both parties sign. Having it all in writing helps both parties understand and agree on the scope of the project, providing you with clarity and peace of mind.

A good contractor can help you improve your home’s appearance, efficiency and overall value, but it’s important to ask the right questions to find one who’s both reputable and right for you.

To learn more about hiring a contractor or to obtain a quote for an upcoming project, call Avonlea Renovations at (416)-907-4764 or contact us here.


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Tel. (416) 422-5276