BBB Offers Top 10 Tips on Hiring a Contractor This Spring

March 28, 2017

Vancouver, BC – The winter season, for the most part, has come and gone for another year and your property may have taken a beating since last October. Now that spring is in the air (technically) that means it may be time to start thinking about the upkeep of your home and yard. Getting a jump on it now may not be a bad thing as service providers start booking jobs and getting busy.

“From furnace inspection, roof and window replacement to yard maintenance, there is a lot to consider when dealing with your home,” says Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor for BBB serving Mainland BC. “We just want homeowners to do their own due diligence when putting more money into their property.”

BBB’s Top 10 things to consider when hiring a contractor:

1. Ask at least three companies for bids based on the same requirements. Discuss the bids in detail with each contractor and ask them about variations in pricing. The lowest-priced bid may not be the best.
2. Use BBB’s Request A Quote program. This makes it easy for consumers to secure three quotes in a timely fashion.
3. Get estimates and contracts in writing on company letterhead.
4. Get any verbal promises in writing. Make sure the contract includes the start date and expected completion date.
5. Do not fall for high-pressure sales tactics and be wary of unsolicited door-to-door sales.
6. Avoid cash deals as a way to not pay tax. This is a deceptive practice and you may not have a fall back if things go wrong.
7. Ask about the company’s insurance. Does it carry worker’s compensation, property damage, and liability insurance? Ask for proof of insurance or for the name of an insurance agent you can call to verify the coverage.
8. Ask whether the contractor is licensed for the type of work you need. Does the firm meet the bonding requirements of your city or province?
9. Check with local authorities to find out whether permits are needed. The contractor should be aware of any permits or inspections that may be required.
10. Don’t pay the entire amount due until the work is completed and you are satisfied. Be careful if a contractor wants to be paid in full up front. In some cases, a contractor may need a down payment to cover materials. But the bulk of the money should not be due until the work is complete. A 10 to 15 percent deposit is typical. If the contractor requires more, make sure you understand why.

Bonus Tip:

1. Always check a company’s BBB Business Profile at


Media Contacts:

Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor
BBB Serving Mainland BC
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 2016, people turned to BBB more than 365 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 108 local, independent BBBs across North America. In 2016, consumers turned to BBB Serving Mainland B.C. more than 2 million times for Business Reviews and processed 6,000 complaints.