Before selling your home, perhaps the thought has crossed your mind to spend some time & money on repairs and upgrades. For many of us, we can handle the smaller DIY projects but need to call in the professionals, for example when installing new kitchen cabinets. Personally, I wouldn’t even consider making any DIY roof repairs…one of our friends can probably recommend a local business to do the job!
Whatever the job or project, if you’re hiring a professional you’ll need (and probably want) a written contract.
In Ontario, any agreement with a contractor doing work worth more than $50 must be in writing. For your home renovations, how big or small, you should have a contract. Not only that, if it has been signed in your home, you also have the right to a 10 calendar-day cooling off period.
Similar to most ‘cooling off’ contracts, you may cancel the contract for any reason and there is no cancellation fee.
So what do you need to include in the contract?
1. Contractor’s name, address and contact info.
2. A detailed description of the project, including the materials needed.
3. A copy of the written estimate.
4. A detailed description of any warranties.
5. Total cost and payment schedule, including a deposit amount. It is recommended that the down payments no more than 10% of the total cost is of the contract.
6. A schedule, outlining the start and completion dates of the project.
When your contractor doesn’t want to provide a hard copy of the deal, be firm. Never have a contractor work on the home without the contract. Keep in mind that no receipt or contract means that you have no proof of purchase or proof of what the contractor was hired to do.
**These tips have been provided by Consumer Protection Ontario, a consumer awareness program from the government of Ontario. Visit this LINK TO COMMON SCAMS to learn about your rights and responsibilities before you get started.**