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Renovating? Looking for a Contractor? Where to Start?




Are you about to start a renovation, but don’t really know where to start to looking for a contractor?  It can be overwhelming as you want to find someone who is not only trustworthy, but also one that does professional quality work.

Hiring a contractor can be a scary and stressful experience and I’m sure we have all heard of the horror stories of contractors disappearing after receiving their deposit. But these pitfalls can be avoided, and you can hire the right person for the job!

Do your due diligence before you hire a contractor to avoid making those mistakes you read about in the news.  There are some quality contractors out there who perform wonderful work.. and if you go about it the right way, you can find them!


  • The first step is finding a contractor… the best way is by word of mouth referral of someone you know who has used this person in the past. Ask family or friends if they can recommend someone.
  • You can also find them in the yellow pages, on the internet, trade organizations, or bulletin boards.
  • Obtain at least 3 quotations.  This will allow you to see if they are adding profit into the material price and make it easier to compare multiple bids for the same work.
  • When you find a contractor, interview him as your employee.. after all he will be working for you and you will be their boss for the time they perform the work. Did they return calls promptly? did they show up on time? Was their appearance professional?
  • Ask for references – at least three recent referrals and take the time to call them and enquire:
  1. Was the contractor punctual?
  2. Were any changes discussed with the owner prior to proceeding?
  3. Was the job site clean and free of debris at the end of the day?
  4. Was the job completed in the time allotted?
  5. Were they on budget?

These questions will determine if the contractor is worth hiring.  A bad contractor can cost you time and money. Often, home-owners search for the lowest estimate, and price does play a role, but often the cheapest does not get you the best work.

  • Ask for material supplier references.  You can tell a lot about someone by how they pay their bills. Call the supplier for a reference to see if they pay their bills on time… if they pay their bill on time, you know they are responsible and have a good credit rating, if don’t, then be wary.
  • Comparing bids is a crucial step in hiring the right contractor. It is advisable to receive at least three bids for any one phase of construction.  This establishes market value for your project and will allow you analyze the bid.  Make sure the bid includes the following:
  • Scope of work – a detailed list of what the contractor will perform
  1. Timeline for completion
  2. Payment schedule
  3. Process for approving changes in construction
  • Have him separate labour and material in the quote.. This will enable you to compare quotations with other contractor.
  • Beware of signs such as soliciting door-to-door, only accepting cash, not having a listed business number in the local telephone directory, or offering to do your project with materials “leftover” from a previous job.
  • Watch out for contractors who want you to obtain required building permits or find them new customers (some will offer discounts if you find them new business).
  • If the contractor is offering something that seems too good to be true — like exceptionally long guarantees or offering to do your home as a “demonstration” — it probably is too good to be true.
  • Don’t hesitate to check out the background of the contractor you’re considering for your job; he won’t be offended if he has nothing to hide. Likewise, find out if he intends to subcontract some work, and do a background
    and financial check of those contractors as well.
  • Beware of verbal agreements; as the saying goes, in a court of law, they’re often as good as the paper they were written on.
  • Good contractors will give you a binding estimate in writing. They also won’t work without a written contract. The contract should clearly spell out, in easy-to-understand terms, exactly what the project will cost, what will be accomplished and the anticipated time frame for completing the job.


I live and work in STREETSVILLE.  Are you considering buying or selling, or know anyone who is?  Please give me a call for a complimentary evaluation on the market price of your home.  (416) 717-6331.  I love referrals !

www.gloriavalvasori.com                          gvalvasori@gmail.com

Your STREETVILLE Real Estate Agent, dedicated to providing outstanding service to my clients. 


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Mississauga and Streetsville Real Estate

When you choose me to handle your real estate needs, you choose a real estate professional who cares about you and your family, who listens to your needs and who will put your interests first and foremost. I will work together with you, protecting your interests, to achieve your objectives.

I have been uniting families and homes for more than 31 years.. Let me put my 31+ years of knowledge and experience to work for you when selling or buying your next home.


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Helping You Make The Right Move since 1987. 

Call me at (905) 896-4622 or direct at (416) 717-6331

 www.mississaugarealestateonline.com    gvalvasori@gmail.com            



No part of this publication, may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, or electronic methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher.  Copyright © 2018  Gloria Valvasori, all rights reserved.


Michele Cadogan 917-861-9166
Fillmore Real Estate 2990 Av U, Bklyn , NY 11229 - Brooklyn, NY
Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker -

When hiring a home contractor it is always a good idea to check your local government / county data base to make sure that the contrator is licensed to work in the state and that there is not any violations against this contractos company.

Mar 11, 2017 12:35 PM
Gloria Valvasori, Accredited Senior Agent
REAL Experience | REAL Commitment | REAL Results!

Absolutely!  Always check with the Better Business Burau, and also ask for referrals from past customers.  Thanks so much for your suggestion!!

Mar 11, 2017 01:35 PM
Diana White-Pettis
Bennett Realty Solutions - Upper Marlboro, MD
GRI, CDPE, CNE, WHC Upper Marlboro Homes for Sale

Hi Gloria, hiring the wrong contractor can be a very expensive lesson so doing the work in advance can save thousands of dollars.  Great blog as usual!

Mar 19, 2017 10:17 AM
Gloria Valvasori, Accredited Senior Agent
REAL Experience | REAL Commitment | REAL Results!

Hi Diana, thank you so much!

Mar 19, 2017 10:18 AM
Anna Hatridge
R Gilliam Real Estate LLC - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with R Gilliam Real Estate LLC

Great information!  I would like to add that in our area it is wise to check with the local board of Realtors as they have affiliate members that have a reputation to get the work finished on time and on budget.

Apr 19, 2017 06:45 AM
Anna Hatridge
R Gilliam Real Estate LLC - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with R Gilliam Real Estate LLC

Also ask to see proof of their insurance policy and don't forget to have them sign a release of the mechanics lien.

Apr 19, 2017 06:47 AM