Looking for a contractor in Toronto? Here is how to conduct your search for the best general contractors Toronto has to offer.
When a home remodelling project is too big to tackle yourself, that’s when it’s time to hire a general contractor. But what if you hire the wrong one and it becomes a disaster?
The nightmare stories we’ve all heard are real.
Though, when you know what to look for, hiring a reliable contractor doesn’t have to be a scary process. Doing a bit of research and asking the right questions will lead you to the perfect contractor for your project.
To help get you started, let’s look at 10 qualities you should look for when searching for the best general contractors Toronto has to offer.
1. Fully Licensed and Insured
When hiring a general contractor, one who is credible and knowledgeable will be fully licensed and insured. So make sure to check their credentials beforehand.
All contractors in the Toronto area must have a valid Trades License issued by the city. This license ensures they know the codes and processes for your area. You can check for this through the city or ask the contractor for a copy of their license.
And also see if the contractor has insurance. You don’t want held liable in the event a worker gets hurt on your job site or a neighbor’s house gets damaged.
2. Offer a Detailed Contract
As with many things in life, the proof is in the writing. And with a contract, there can never be too many details.
Your contract should cover everything. That includes deadlines, the exact planned materials used down to the model number, who provides the materials, and payment details. Also, get a set of drawings with written specifications.
If changes need made you can add an addendum. Particularly with added work, costs, and materials.
With a detailed contract, you know exactly what to expect with no hidden surprises.
3. Specialize in Your Project Type
It doesn’t make any sense to hire a contractor who specializes in basement remodels when you need a new kitchen. You’re of course going to want someone who’s an expert at kitchens!
That’s because different projects need different codes and regulations. You want someone on the job site who knows how to finish the job correctly. And they may be able to guide you towards making changes for an even better project than you first imagined.
Know which projects you need completed, then do your research. Find a reliable contractor who has experience for your specific remodel.
4. Negotiates Ground Rules with You
There’s a lot of little details that go into having a work crew on your job site that takes many homeowners by surprise.
What hours of the day do you want the workers there? Which bathroom will they use or do you need a portable bathroom? How much of the work site needs cleaned up at the end of the day?
You need to discuss these ground rules with your contractor before work begins. And it’s important you get a say so about it since it’s your home they will be working in.
5. They Let You Know Who’s Doing the Work
Whether your project is big or small, chances are you will have many people in your home to do the work. And it’s your right to know who they are.
Ask the contractor if they will be doing all the work or if some of the work will go to subcontractors. If so, get a list of who those subcontractors are.
And don’t be afraid of using subcontractors. Many of them have specialized training, like roofers and electricians, which can ensure things get done right.
Also, ask for a list of employees. You want to make sure the people who show up to your job site are suppose to be there.
6. Have Work Samples to Show You
Seeing really is believing! Looking at work samples of a contractor will give you a good idea of the quality and workmanship they will provide.
Ask to see samples of their past projects. Especially see if they have samples of the kind of specific project you want done.
Looking at past projects may also inspire some ideas for your own remodel. And it will let you see the diversity of their design and style.
7. Reasonable Payment Schedule
Money and budget are a major factor in any remodeling project. You want to be sure you and your contractor are on the same page. And that you come up with a payment plan that you’re comfortable with.
Never pay for 100% of the project upfront. Most contracting jobs need only 10% before work begins, sometimes a little more for bigger projects. The rest are progress payments before the final payment when work is complete.
Have your agreed upon payment schedule included in your contract.
8. They’re Local and Have Been Around a Long Time
Hiring local is always good for hometown businesses. And if a local business has been around for a while, chances are they are a reliable and trusted company in the community.
And an added perk to hiring local, if there’s ever an issue down the road, chances are a local contractor will be on top of it sooner rather than later.
9. Good References
Word of mouth is a great way to know how past clients have perceived the contractor’s work. So look at testimonials and reviews.
Start with the company’s website for testimonials. Then check the web, like Google and Yelp, for online reviews.
Also, talk to family and friends if they have used the contractor before. Or see if you can talk to current customers or subcontractors. They can give you a good idea of what it’s like to work with that contractor.
10. Your Gut Tells You They’re Right for the Job
When it comes down to it, you need to trust your gut instinct on which contractor you hire.
Do you get a good vibe from them or do you not trust them? Have they embellished something that put you off or seem to be hiding something? Or do they put you at ease and seem completely transparent in all aspects of the job?
You need to be 100% comfortable and trusting in who you bring into your home and pay your hard-earned money to. So listen to your gut.
Find the Best General Contractors Toronto Has to Offer
Now you can look for general contractors Toronto has to offer with confidence. With these tips, you’ll be one step closer to enjoying the quality remodeling project you’ve been dreaming of.
Do you have a dream project you need help with? Contact us today! We’d be happy to put the Solid Arc experience to work for you.