Choosing the right contractor
If you’re planning a major home renovation project, working with a reputable contractor can save you a ton of time—and money. Here are some tips that can help you make this crucial decision!
Ask for references
Asking around for references is a great place to start! Did your neighbour recently undertake a similar project? Ask them about their experience and whether they’d recommend the contractor they hired. This website (in French only), administered by the APCHQ, can also help homeowners find the right contractor.
It’s one thing to find a contractor who does good work and has a solid reputation. However, before hiring them, it’s up to you to make sure these professionals possess all the qualifications, required by law.
Here’s what you need to check:
- Do they have a valid RBQ (Régie du bâtiment du Québec) licence? You can jot down your contractor’s licence number and expiration date and head to the RBQ’s Licence holders’ repertoire here (in French only) to make sure everything checks out. While you’re there, take a minute to verify their licence subcategories. For renovation and expansion projects, look for subcategories entitled “Contractor – Small buildings” or “Contractor – All buildings”.
- Do they have liability insurance to protect you in case of damage to your property or a neighbour’s or injury to someone on the work site?
- Is their company listed in the Quebec’s Enterprise Register?
We strongly advise obtaining a quote from three different professionals before signing a contract. That way, you can weigh the pros and cons and hire the contractor that best suits your needs.
Each quote should provide the following information:
- A description of the project
- A detailed breakdown of the incurred costs
- The estimated start and end dates
- The accepted payment methods
Before hiring a contractor, it might be a good idea to verify if there have been any complaints against them or if they were sued in the past. You can consult the courts’ decisions here (in French only).
Also, you should always be sceptical about lowball quotes. If one contractor’s price is dramatically lower than the others, it’s probably too good to be true!
It’s best to let professionals handle major work, but there are a lot of smaller projects you can take on if you have some basic skills. It’s a great way to cut renovation costs without compromising on quality!
- Demolition work
- Using FlexiSnap magnetic access panels* to conceal pipes and wires that you need to access but don’t want to see
Electrical wires and router cables in your living room (video in French only)
Water inlets in the laundry room (video in French only)
Bathroom sink plumbing (video in French only)
- Installing sinks and plumbing