Published on September 19, 2012 7:55 am by the Ministry of Consumer Services
Ontario is offering homeowners and homebuyers tips before they renovate or repair their homes this fall.
Last year, the residential renovation sector contributed over $23 billion to Ontario's economy and supported 211,000 jobs. Renovations and repairs shouldn't be left to chance. Families can get the best return for their hard-earned dollars by following these tips:
- Choose a reputable contractor. Ask for recommendations, check websites like RenoMark, or call your local homebuilder's association. Reputable contractors will be bonded, will make sure their workers are insured against workplace injuries and will charge HST.
- The lowest quote may not be the best. Have three contractors view the job and give a written estimate. Then check references and consumer sources like the Ministry of Consumer Services' Consumer Beware List.
- Make sure your contract contains key information like the contractor's name and contact information, a description of the work to be done, and start and end dates.
- If you change your mind after you sign a contract, you may be entitled to a cooling off period. Under Ontario's Consumer Protection Act, you can cancel a contract within 10 days if you signed the contract in your home and the price is more than $50.
- Your renovation or repair may qualify for a government grant, subsidy or tax credit.
- If electrical work is part of the planned renovation or repair, your contractor needs a valid electrical contractor licence issued by the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA).
- Last year, the Ministry of Consumer Services received over 2,000 calls from people with concerns about their home renovations.