Many a cottager has lived to regret not having interviewed comprehensively and checked references carefully when hiring a contractor. There are hundreds of horror stories out there about Muskoka Contractors who did shoddy work, took significantly more time than anticipated to complete the project, or did not stay on budget and did not update the owners on escalating costs as the project progressed
It is important to not simply accept the recommendation of friends or neighbours for a Contractor they used, as their standards and needs could be significantly different than yours. It is good to have a recommendation from someone you know, however if you want to have successful project you need to do a bit of footwork and research yourself.
Here are some suggestions that are born of experience.
- Plan to meet and interview more than one Contractor.
- Ask to be taken to see a completed project.
- Ask the Contractor to give you three references and to make one of the references a project in which everything did not always go smoothly.
- Ask the Contractor to tell you about a problem that was very challenging in one of his/her projects and to explain how the problem was solved.
- Make sure you are comparing apples with apples when you get the preliminary quotes from each Contractor you are interviewing.
- Ask about how often the Contractor will be at your job site.
- Clarify expectations regarding tidiness on the work site, smoking on the job site, and drinking on the job site.
- Ask to see the Contractor’s insurance.
- Ask how it would be handled if you locate fixtures or flooring, or such things, that you like and want to purchase them yourself.
- Ask about how often you can expect communication from the Contractor and in what form that would be done.
- Ask to see a sample of the way the Contractor structures the quote.