Construction, renovations, maintenance. When it comes to the home, the spending never seems to end. A hefty part of the family budget is devoted to upkeep. It’s only natural that you want to get the most for your money. And to do that, you must do business with a reliable contractor who has been recommended by friends or family members. Otherwise, it takes time to shop around. CAA-Quebec members have it good: they can contact CAA Habitation, where advisory experts will locate the appropriate resource. What else must be taken into consideration? Guarantees, and a few other details.
First of all, we should mention that Quebec’s Civil Code stipulates that for a period of a year, a contractor is responsible for all “existing defective work” disputed upon completion of the work or detected in the year following completion. Furthermore, he is responsible for five years for any losses resulting from a construction defect. In the case of new homes, the consumer can benefit from mandatory guarantee programs. All contractors are required to comply with them.
The Civil Code also covers renovations, but specific guarantee programs are optional. Not all renovation contractors participate in them. Also, it is good to know which contractor associations offer well-organized programs:
- Association des constructeurs du Québec, which offers a guarantee on renovations.
- Association provinciale des constructeurs d’habitation du Québec, which, through its Rénomaître program, offers a guarantee on all renovation work, including roof work (Quality Renovation Guarantee).
- Association des maîtres couvreurs which, through its 5 + 5 program, also offers a guarantee on roof work. It should be noted that these programs are not free; the cost to sign up is between $75 and $1,000, depending on the program and the type of work covered.
After guarantees, the contract
One of the best ways to protect your home is to have a contract. The clearer and more detailed it is, the more arguments you will have on your side, in writing, in the event of a dispute. If you hired an architect or technologist, include the blueprints and cost estimate in the contract, and have the professional indicate the complete list of work to be done. If you are asked for a down payment, negotiate the lowest possible amount, as that sum is not protected in any way – specifically, if the contractor declares bankruptcy.
Basically, the best way to prevent problems is to thoroughly plan each project and keep a detailed file on it. That applies even to small projects: detail all phases of the work, product brands to be used, colours, finishes, etc. Don’t forget to write down all costs and draw up a specific schedule. Nothing beats prevention!
Don’t forget to check…
- Most manufacturers of construction materials, appliances, and accessories guarantee their products. Inform yourself and ask for all supporting documents. You never know!
- Before hiring someone, check to see if the contractor has personal liability and professional insurance. This can help you avoid other problems.
- Follow the work in progress, take notes and even photographs.
- Before accepting the work, draw up a list of the tasks you feel were poorly
executed or incomplete to ensure that they are covered by the guarantee
granted by the contractor. Also, feel free to hire a housing inspector if you
think it necessary.
Renovation or construction? Discover CAA Habitation
Summer is the time for big or small projects in or around the house. Do not agree to do business with the first contractor you talk to. CAA Habitation has carefully chosen more than 700 experts of all kinds in some 120 different specialties and trades. Discover the vast, reassuring, and reliable network that is CAA Habitation’s Network of Approved Suppliers. It’s just a phone call away.