As a general contractor we hear and see the horror stories of clients that have had bad contractors. But how do you find a good contractor? What make a contractor good? What credential is needed?
As most of us have heard credentials are needed. Here are a couple of must haves:
- In Alberta if your contractor is asking for any money before they complete the entire scope of work they MUST have a prepaid contractor licence. You can check on the service alberta site here. There is no exception.
- In the city of Calgary contractors must have a City of Calgary licence to pull permits. Permit must be pulled for any electrical, plumbing or gas work. If there are interior walls being built, moved, adjusted in some way or removed most the time you need a building permit.
- Your contractor should carry an insurance policy to cover any liabilities. Generally it is suggested that they carry at least a $2 million dollar policy. No one expects and accident, but they do happen that is what insurance is for.
Here are the recommended to haves that give you some additional reassurances that the contractor will follow through:
- Association with Renomark. This means the contractor has gone through the application process with renomark and abides by the code of ethics that the organization has outlined. Check out renomark here.
- Association with Homebuilder Association. Again the contractor has gone through the application process and abides by the organizations rules and regulations and keeps themselves up to date on industry news and information. Check out the homebuilder association here.
- Checking the BBB status of a contractor. Weather the contractor is a member or not a member the BBB will report on the business. Contractors that are members have agreed to the BBB code of ethics and standards. Use this link to access the BBB for Calgary and southern Alberta
Some common question to ask. Do they have references (that are not friend or family)? Do they have jobs that you can actually go see (not just pictures)? Do they offer a contract and warranty for there work? This does make for a lot of questions to ask your contractor, on top of all the questions you will have about your renovation, but trust me it is worth your time. This cover the techincal stuff, but what about the rest? Check out my other post to for tips and stragies for the rest.