How to Avoid a Renovation Nightmare: Why Hiring Reliable Trade Contractors is Crucial for Any Home Renovation Project
There are several steps you can take to avoid your dream home renovation from turning into a nightmare. The most important is finding a reliable trade contractor you can trust.
While the majority of contractors in any business – including home renovation – are trustworthy, others may be found wanting.
You may come across a home remodelling service that gives you a cheap estimate and promises diligent tradespeople with lots of experience. However, if your renovation contractor turns out to be less than a hundred per cent dependable, you may well rue the day you fell for their sales patter.
Unless you have full confidence in your contractor, you’ll likely be on edge throughout your remodeling project. For this reason alone, it’s crucial to hire a reliable renovation trade contractor.
When looking for a home remodelling contractor, it’s essential to:
- Avoid cash deals.
- Get a written contract.
- Get recommendations / Read Reviews & Testimonails.
It’s also important to find a contractor who:
- Complies with insurance and licensing requirements.
- Has a workers’ compensation insurances in place.
- Will provide a solid warranty.
Cash-only transactions may be tempting but they’re also risky. Ask yourself: why would a reputable contractor push for cash in hand? If you suspect the answer may involve tax avoidance, that’s hardly an indication of an honest business person – if they’re willing to cheat the authorities, how will they treat you?
- If someone offers you an under-the-table cash deal, you’re unlikely to get a written contract. This could result in you unwittingly:
- Assuming legal responsibility for workers’ safety in your home – without the financial safeguard of insurance.
- Having no recourse should your contractor do a shoddy job and then vanish with your money.
Importance of a Written Contract
Your written contract should include:
As we’ve already seen, a written contract is vital for your protection, clearly setting out the obligations agreed by yourself and your contractor.
- Scope of the work.
- A schedule of start and completion dates.
- Both parties’ responsibilities.
- Breakdown of the tasks included.
- Final cost.
Another way to help avoid a renovation nightmare and make sure you hire a reliable trade contractor is to get recommendations – from family or friends who’ve had similar work done or by carefully reading online reviews.
This can help you to establish a contractor’s:
Insurance and Licensing
A reliable renovation contractor will be properly insured to cover any damages should anything go wrong during your home upgrade. Ask about your contractor’s certificate of insurance. General liability insurance will usually include:
- Property damage.
- Physical injury.
- Public liability.
In the absence of adequate contractor insurance, the cost of any damage to your property – or that of a neighbour – is likely to be your responsibility. Your contractor should also be insured against injuries to workers and members of the public.
Your contractor’s insurance and your own home insurance should together give you complete peace of mind throughout your renovation project.
A dependable trade contractor will have the proper trade licence – electrical contractor or plumbing – and appropriate business licence to operate in your locality. They’ll also able to handle all the paperwork when it comes to issues such as obtaining city permits.
Compensation for Workers
In addition to insurance coverage for injuries, your contractor should be part of the government’s Workers’ Compensation programme.
If your contractor is not complying with Workers’ Compensation regulations, you face a substantial financial risk, particularly without a written contract to establish the contractor is an independent business, as opposed to being employed directly by you.
Before hiring a home remodelling contractor in Vancouver, check they’re registered with WorkSafeBC – the Workers’ Compensation Board of British Columbia.
A Written Warranty is a Must
Hiring a contractor who backs up their promises with a written warranty can avoid the sort of disputes that plague some home renovation schemes.
Professional renovation contractors will give you a clearly-defined written warranty on workmanship and materials, stating what is covered and for how long.
Your contractor should also provide you with warranty documents from the manufacturers of products or materials they use.
Your warranty should also include contact details should you need any problems fixing.
Why You Need an Experienced Renovation Trade Contractor
Choosing an experienced and trustworthy trade or specialty contractor takes the uncertainty out of a home upgrade and is key to getting the home of your dreams.
Once you’ve done your homework in drawing up a shortlist of contractors, a one-to-one interview can be invaluable in getting an idea of how well you’ll be able to communicate with your contractor during your remodelling project.
Experienced trade contractors avoid renovation nightmares by expecting the unexpected. Multiple issues could be lurking out of sight in your home – beneath flooring and behind walls – and a reliable contractor will know how to deal with them as a matter of course.
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