Do Your Research Before Hiring a Contractor this Spring

April 06, 2016


Vancouver, BC – Now that the winter season is behind us we can get to task of attending to home repairs. Many big jobs will require hiring a contractor and that means British Columbians need to do their homework before signing any contract.

“Unfortunately there are shifty people out there with morals that are few and far between,” says Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor for BBB serving Mainland BC. “We’ve seen instances, for example, where the elderly are overcharged for work that may not even be required. We just want the public to cover their bases and make sure they are hiring a reputable firm, especially when it comes to something as important as home repairs.”

Before hiring a home improvement business, BBB recommends the following tips:

  • Check Out a Business. Be sure to check out any business before hiring at Here you can view BBB Business Reviews, read complaints and reviews, and find out more information.
  • Get Multiple Estimates. Before accepting an estimate, get at least three bids or quotes in writing. Don’t feel pressured to go with the lowest bid, as it might reflect the quality of materials
  • Use BBB for its unique ‘Request a Quote’ system.
  • Ask for References. Ask for at least two or three references from the business’s last few jobs and ask questions about the quality of work, if it was within budget and on time, and to the customer’s satisfaction.
  • Check Out Licenses. Be sure to check if the business is properly licensed in your province, if applicable. It’s also important that any business you hire is properly insured if working on your home.
  • Get Everything in Writing. Do not sign a contract until you have read through it entirely. If you made verbal agreements, they should be included in the written contract. Any deposit or payment plans should be included, as well as, any warranties or guarantees.
  • Instigate market transaction. Go to them, don’t wait for them to come to you.
  • Pay by cheque or credit card. Avoid paying with cash.

Be wary of:

  • Be suspicious of a contract who approaches you with an offer of a cut rate because he has extra material from a previous job.
  • Be wary of lines like “I’m a factory rep and can offer a good deal…”
  • Be wary of contractors approaching you claiming they can see your roof needs work and is very dangerous; get a second opinion.
  • Be wary of contractors who compel you to borrow money from your lender.

“Before hiring a contractor on the spot, be sure to do your research and check out a business at,” adds Kelly. “There are many local contractors with a good track record that will deliver quality work on time and within budget. Many now have positive and verified customer reviews attached to their BBB Business Review and that gives consumers an added sense of trust.”



Media Contacts:

Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor for BBB Serving Mainland BC                                                                                                             Direct: 604-488-8702                                                                                                                                                                                                             Mobile: 604-505-2307                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    404-788 Beatty Street                                                                                                                                                                                             Vancouver, BC                                                                                                                                                                                                                     V6B 2M1

About BBB:

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses and brands they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 165 million times for BBB Business Reviews, all available for free at BBB Serving Mainland B.C., founded in 1939 and serving the Lower Mainland, Thompson-Okanagan, Northern, Central and Southern Interior BC, and the Yukon, is one of 111 local, independent BBBs across North America. In 2015, consumers turned to BBB Serving Mainland B.C. more than 2 million times for Business Reviews and processed 7,500 complaints.