Many people may start thinking of home renovation when they have been living in their place for a certain period of time-----either for leisure, for an extension of unused space, for maintenance or repair, or for any other purpose. Anyhow, a consumer should require to know what to look for a contractor, as well as a home renovation agreement, so as to protect his/her consumer's right.
When signing a home renovation agreement, a consumer should look for terms included, but not limited to, in the following:
- A detailed description of work to be done;
- Specific information about size and colour of materials or/and product to be used (incl. product number for items such as tile, hardfloors etc.;
- Clearly state who is responsible for each aspect of the job including obtaining permit, providing labour and material, etc.;
- If subcontractors are involved, who is responsible for their payments and when;
- A percentage of deposit is required (does it seems reasonable), and a timetable for progress payments;
- The total cost, which may be expressed in fixed fee, or cost plus expenses and taxes;
- The start date and date of completion, and what happens if the work is not finished on time (how to deal with unexpected change and the relevant cost associated with it);
- A clear description of any warranties or guarantees, and provisions for dispute resolution, default and other issues;
- Who is responsible for clean up after the job is finished;
- The business or GST/HST number for the contractor;
- The name and address of the contractor;
Under the Construction Lien Act, a consumer can retain 10% of the contract price for 45 days after the project is done in order to ensure the quality of work. Furthermore, the final price of all goods and services cannot be more than 10% over the original estimate, unless a consumer has agreed to new work or a new price; under the Consumer Protection Act.
Here are also some tips of hiring a qualified renovation contractor:
- Write a detailed list of items that you want to achieve;
- Make sure the person or company you hired is certified;
- Make a list of potential suppliers to interview from relatives, friends and neighbors as well as professional organizations;
- Get written estimates from at least 3 contractors (breakdown of labour, material and extra cost);
- Get at least 3 references and check them;
- A good contractor may ask you a lot of questions about what you want;
- Check with local Better Bureau or business association to see whether any complaints or changes against the contractor in the Consumer Beware List;
- Talk to the contractor on how to deal with disagreement or disputes;
- Make sure any liability insurance or worker's compensation is already in place.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be construed as a legal advice, but strictly for information only in this entire website. Please contact Trustworthy Legal Service for your independent legal advice in your particular situation. The first consultation is also required prior to my retainer of your case.
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