Selecting a Contractor
Once you have your house plans picked out, it is important to get a minimum of two or preferably three contractors, to give you quotes on building the house from your plans. If you are unsure of the plans you have selected or are having difficulty selecting suitable plans, perhaps you should discuss some options with the contractors. Contractors usually have various plans available for your viewing.
Your local house builders’ association, such as the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA), may be able to give you the names of members. You can also look in the yellow pages of your telephone directory under General Contracting or Building Contractors, however the best recommendation for a contractor is through word of mouth from a satisfied customer.
Making the Selection of a Contractor
If you contact an unfamiliar firm, or a firm that has not been recommended, ask for their business license number. Check this with the local licensing office. Find out whether the firm carries public liability and property damage insurance. Verify with the insurance company for the status of the insurance policy. Reputable firms will not be offended when you ask for customers names in your area so you may call them for reference. Ensure they are not relatives or business associates.
Beware of Firms:
- Who demand a large down payment “to buy materials”. All reputable contractors maintain charge accounts with their suppliers.
- Who refuse to give you a written contract specifying exactly what they SAY they will do.
- Whose only address is a post office box, a telephone number, or the address of their answering service.
- It is very important to be aware of anything that may be out of the ordinary. Also, remember “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Ensure that all quotes cover the same work and materials.
The lowest quote may not necessarily be the best. Contractors who submit unusually low quotes most likely have made a mistake or left something out.
Property taxes can be collected with mortgage payment.
Cash back mortgages offered, up to 5% (can not be used for down payment).
Title Insurance is accepted.
More information on mortgages can be obtained by viewing the website of The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.