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Hiring a Contractor

Updated: Oct 26, 2022

It’s been my experience that most people would love to renovate one or more areas of their home. Then why don’t they? I hear three main reasons on a regular basis so if you are like everyone else, this article can help you.

Paralyzed by Cost

That renovation is just one item on a big list of wants and maybe it is number 18 on the list or maybe it`s number one. If it is number one, then you have to do so homework to decide if you can afford it now or later. Most home owners don’t really know what certain renovations cost. A few are shocked having grown up decades ago they think most people still work for $5.00 per hour. However, most people assume the worst and are pleasantly surprised when they find out the job will cost half of what they thought. Financing your reno is a topic for another time.

Paralyzed by Indecision

Let’s face it, the choice of products and materials today is hard for the experts to keep up with. No one wants to spend extra money on an area of their house only to regret their choice of fixtures or colors. This should be the most fun part of the process. With the help of a good designer and contractor, you should get a finished product to be thrilled with.

Paralyzed by a Lack of Contacts

If you’re like everyone else, you would prefer to deal with people you know and trust. Even if you have to pay full price to get your car fixed, you feel good knowing the mechanic you have been using for years, only did what was necessary and fixed it right. So how do choose a contractor? In a perfect world, you would have a long-term relationship with your painter, plumber, flooring installer, tile setter, etc. Then you could call up each of these people as and when you need them, knowing they would show up on time and do perfect work for a reasonable price.

The problem is you rarely need these people so you never get to know and trust any of them, let alone all of them. Most people end up hiring a jack of all trades that comes recommended by a friend. There are some very good carpenters out there who can do some things very well. Most of them are honest and mean well and if you hire them to do what they do best, everyone is happy.

Most large renovations, however, require expertise in several areas. It just stands to reason that someone who only paints can paint much faster and better than someone who paints occasionally. A professional flooring installer can install your carpet better and faster than a carpenter or a plumber.

Then there is the problem that some tradesmen aren’t all they claim to be. You don’t have time to try out several different tradesmen in a given area, let alone trying out tradesmen in every area you need. A general contractor will have been through all of that already. They should be constantly updating their team of employees and sub-trades they use. And yes, all of us have tried out and eliminated woefully under qualified trades, hopefully without doing too much damage to our business reputations.

So how do you find a good contractor? The little things like having a business license, insurance, and WCB coverage will tell you that they at least are a legitimate business trying to do things by the book. But still, the best is to get references and look at previous work related to the work you need to be done. If the contractor has brought the best people onto his team, then odds are you will have a great experience.



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