Enter your branch to sign in

Home>My life>Buying a home>Renovating my home>Fourteen warning signs when hiring a contractor
Print Share

Fourteen warning signs when hiring a contractor 

There are many types of renovations and just as many types of contractors providing services. Most are honest and a credit to their profession; however, how do you know if your contractor has your interests in mind? It's wise to protect yourself by paying attention to the warning signs. There may be a problem if the contractor:

  1. Offers a discount if you pay cash (and don't need a receipt).
  2. Doesn't offer a warranty or guarantee for their work.
  3. Can't provide current references.
  4. Uses high pressure sales tactics.
  5. Demands you sign immediately.
  6. Solicits door-to-door because they "are in the neighborhood."
  7. Provides a quote without visiting the site and talking to you about expectations.
  8. Asks you to provide a large down payment so they can buy the materials.
  9. Won't put anything in writing or is vague about quote or contract details.
  10. Doesn't have a street address for the business.
  11. Won't show proof of workers' compensation or liability insurance coverage.
  12. Doesn't have a GST number.
  13. Tells you not to bother with permits.
  14. Won't explain cancellation policies.

Sources:

Home Renovations Consumer Tip Sheet, Service Alberta

Hiring a Contractor, Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canadian Consumer Handbook, Government of Canada