As part of a press release in which a certain unlicensed roofer in the area pleaded guilty to 11 counts of contracting without a Building Repair Contractor’s Licence, John Lane, the Manager of Building Inspections issued the following advice for Hamiltonians who may be hiring a contractor. We thought we'd share it with you in the event that you are looking for a contractor.
Info for Home Owners When Hiring a Contractor:
The City of Hamilton’s Licence Code 07-170, clearly states that in order to operate as a tradesperson engaging in Building Repair, Drain Repair, Heating or Plumbing work, they must be licensed. Building Services recommends homeowners take additional care before hiring a contractor or before signing paperwork for repairs. Some tips when deciding on a contractor include:
• Call the City to determine if the contractor is licensed at 905-546-2782 and press '3' for licensing.
• Don’t be pressured into signing anything.
• Always get a written estimate and three (3) other independent quotes, get a fully itemized estimate, and make sure the details get written into a contract.
• Shop around if you are asked to give a down payment of more than 5% to 15% of the total contract price.
• Determine if the job requires a Building Permit. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure that a Building Permit is obtained, when required, prior to beginning construction.
• Watch this short video on more tips: www.youtube.com/watch?v=SE5vTlRUY2Q
If residents have concerns about contractor activities, they can contact the Building Services Division at 905-546-3950 or go online to: www.hamilton.ca/buildingpermits or www.hamilton.ca/tradelicence. The Ontario Renovators' Council (Ontario Home Builders' Association) provides a consumers' guide to the Standard Renovations Contract outlining detailed tips. Other helpful resources for residents include the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org/canada) and Consumer Protection (Ontario) that offers consumer protection information and a "Consumer Beware" list at www.consumerbeware.mgs.gov.on.ca.
Thanks John for this information.