Hire a Professional. Do it Right the First Time!

Hire a professionalTool belt – check. Hammer – check. Nails – check. Power drill – check. Circular saw – check (I wonder what I’ll use that for). So here I go, ready to get started on my renovation. There really can’t be much to it, is there?

Ouch! Darn hammer. Oh well, let me try again. Uh oh, I don’t think that hole in the wall is supposed to be there. Hmm, let’s see, maybe I can just move that picture a little to the left and that’ll be just fine.

If your renovations start something like this, you may want to think about what your goals are for the project. Many of us can handle simple repairs, maintenance and small renovations, but are you equipped with the tools, the knowledge and the ability to take your renovation to the next level by yourself?

Are you confident that the wall you are tearing down is in fact able to be removed without affecting the structural integrity of the home? Do you have the proper permits to undertake the renovations on your home? Will you be doing all of the work yourself or will you have help? If you are having others in the home to help with the renovation, do you have the proper insurance coverage in the event something happens to someone on-site?

These are all questions the professional contractors understand and are able to address before the project begins. If your project is out of your capabilities and you are looking to hire a professional contractor, there are a few tips to consider:

Know who you’re dealing with – A good contractor has nothing to hide, but a great deal to show. The contractor should provide references. It is important to check with their past clients to find out if they were satisfied with the work that was completed, if it was finished on schedule and budget. And even more importantly, ask the question as to whether or not the past client would hire the contractor again. The answer to this questions speaks volumes about the person’s experience.

Protect yourself from risks – The contractor should provide proof of liability insurance, workers’ compensation coverage and a valid business or HST number. Liability insurance protects you if your home is damaged or if there is a third party injury. Workers’ Compensation coverage helps protect you in case of claims relating to a worker injury. An HST or Business number tells you that your contractor is registered with the Government of Canada and complies with the regulations set forth by the government for business owners.

Get your contract in writing – If timing or budget issues arise, a written contract protects both you and the contractor. It can also protect you from lawsuits related to accidents, work-related injuries or damage to third parties. Even small projects can have challenges. Your written contract should also include the warranty coverage you will receive in the event any problems arise in the future. Insist on a contract to protect yourself.

For more information on hiring a
professional visit:  www.nshomebuilders.ca

Sherry Donovan

Sherry Donovan

Sherry Donovan is Communications Director for the Nova Scotia Home Builders' Association. She is a regular contributer to various local media and currently has columns appearing in Halifax Metro News and The Chronicle Herald's Homesetc publication.

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