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Be careful of fraudulent home renovations

Be careful of fraudulent home renovations

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(Photo credit: kadmy/iStockphoto.com)

The contractors you hire for your renovation job will make a world in difference in the amount you spend and the quality of the work you receive.

We’ve all heard stories of unscrupulous renovators who have done lousy renovation jobs, leaving the homes in ruin, and billing clients for absurd costs.

There was a recent case of a contractor who was convicted of fraud after he took advantage of an elderly woman who asked him to do her home renovations. The woman’s home was torn a part, her savings were drained and the woman was found unresponsive and severely dehydrated, according to the Toronto Star.

The incident occurred in 2008 and the contractor was sentenced to two years in jail and restitution of $215,000 in 2013. The contractor appealed the decision and the judge dismissed his appeal recently.

The research you do prior to hiring a contractor is crucial to picking the right one, especially for more potentially dangerous renovations.

Spring and summer may be a good time to get your roofing fixed, but it can be a dangerous if a qualified person isn’t doing the repairs. Before hiring a contractor, inquire about a worker’s certification and health and safety precautions. If someone is hurt fixing your roof and they don’t have workplace insurance of safety certification, you would be on the hook for their medical costs.

Before signing a written contract, request to see the worker’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board certification and their workplace insurance, which should include liability coverage. If the roofing business you hire has more than five employees, there should be an on-site supervisor who ensures the workers are following safety protocol.

Also, you should only let licensed electricians fix your electrical work since any mistakes could lead to a potential fire hazard. Before signing any contracts, check their references and check that the electrician you’re considering can give you an Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) and Electrical Contractor Registration Agency (ECRA) licence number, which is displayed on their work vehicle. The ESA regulates both electrical contractor licenses and master electrician licenses and only those who are licensed can perform these tasks.

You will also want to ensure that the written estimate provided includes their licence number and any permit fees related to the job. Also, confirm that the electrician will attain a certificate of inspection, once the work is done.

Canadians spend an average of more than $15,000 a year on renovations. Do everything you can to verify that you’re hiring the right person for the job, which means avoiding underground home renovations and ensuring that the renovation contract covers all the necessary details.

If you’ve done a major renovation to your home, Rebate4U can help you claim an HST housing rebate. Our priority is to provide our clients with the most professional and quality service in obtaining rebates for their new and renovated homes. We are proud to offer our clients the most personal and attentive service, and we make sure that all of our clients are 100% satisfied.

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