March is Fraud Prevention Month, and it's a great time to educate yourself on how to avoid renovation rip-offs if you are planning to make some home upgrades this spring. Being knowledgeable about choosing your contractor will save you money and potential legal headaches in the future.
Ensure you're making a sound investment, and use these five best practice tips for choosing contractors:
Check their license: all contractors in Calgary must have a City of Calgary business license, and the City has the power to revoke or suspend this license at any time.
Contractors that hold a business licence have met The City’s licensing requirements and are permitted to operate their business within Calgary. Without a valid business licence, contractors are not able to obtain necessary permits. [City of Calgary]
Get a signed contract in writing: never start a job with any contactor without getting a written contract which outlines the following:
- Their business license number
- Start and completion dates
- Full plans for the renovation/project
- Specifications of materials to be used
- Schedule of work
- Payment arrangements
- Business liability insurance information
- Contractor's worker compensation program
Verify their insurance: all contractors should carry liability insurance in case of damage or injury on the job, ask for proof of this.
Looking for some more helpful tips? The City of Calgary has some great free resources on their website here.