Construction Contractor
What You Need To Know  Before Hiring One

I can’t wait to get started on my next project, and I think I’ve found just the right construction contractor for the job. What should I know before signing an agreement?

I can’t wait to get started on my next project, and I think I’ve found just the right construction contractor for the job. What should I know before signing an agreement?

Building a new home, buying one, or taking on a new project is a huge investment both emotionally and financially. We know from experience, taking the time to make sure you are safe and protected will make the process a lot smoother and stress free. Before finalizing anything with your construction contractor, make sure you are in the driver’s seat by keeping the following things in mind.


construction contractor, contract, before hirring
  1. The building process should be well planned. Make sure you have a schedule outlined for each phase of the project. By making regular contact with your construction contractor throughout the project, an initial schedule will allow you to hold them accountable if the project is off course.
  2. Contracts are legally binding. Legal advice might look like an unnecessary extra cost but it could save you a lot of money in the long run. We recommend having a lawyer look over the contract to make sure you are fully protected. Understanding your legal standpoint is a great feeling of confidence that will surely help you in the negotiation process.
  3. Insurance keeps your investment safe. You have the right to request a certificate of insurance from your construction contractor that outlines the coverage and type of protection you’re given. Don’t take this for granted – if any property damage or on-site incidents occur you could be liable without coverage.
  4. Permits protect you. Permits are required for many of the services a contractor provides, such as building a home, finishing a basement, building an addition or interior renovations. However, projects like replacing flooring, building a fence, or minor repairs do not. It is important to look into the permit requirements for your specific project. 
  5. Changes to the contract must be updated and signed. It is common to make changes to a contract during the course of a build, but it must then be retyped, reprinted and re-signed. If anything were to go wrong, the most recent contract will be the template that is measured in court.
  6. Payment terms should be included with the schedule. Along with the scheduled labor outlined in the contract, a payment schedule with clear and measurable terms should coincide.


We suggest that the contract clearly state each payment stage, and be finalized by an on-site consultation that confirms the work that has been finished before each payment goes through.

7.   A contract checklist. We recommend that every contract has the following:

  • Full legal business name
  • All involved parties
  • Terms of service
  • Warranties provided
  • Registered business number
  • GST number
  • Liability insurance number
  • WorkSafeBC number
  • Total price including taxes

8.   Beware of scams. There are a number of scam artists posing as contractors and are looking for vulnerable homeowners to collect deposits from. If you observe any of the following warning signs, you should be suspicious.

  • Pressures you to hire them fast
  • Tries to avoid getting permits
  • Solicits door to door
  • Needs the money up front
  • Ran into “unforeseen” problems such as structural problems or termite damage

9.   Don’t allow statements such as “PC items”, “Estimate only”, or “TBA”. Many people make the mistake of allowing varying pricing on materials, and end up getting stuck with a large additional bill for low grade materials. Everything in the contract should be very specific, especially when it comes to material pricing. The exact cost of the project should be traced back to all details of the contract, so you know exactly what you’re paying for.

Looking to 
REALLY protect your investment?

We thought so! Download this comprehensive guide to hiring the right contractor. Gain the tools you need to be protected during your next project and hire the right professional for the job.


Looking to Protect Your Investment?

We thought so! Download this comprehensive guide to hiring the right contractor.

construction contractor, contract, before hirring
Written by team Valroc. We are a dedicated team of construction specialists using our knowledge and expertise to build a stronger community. We promote an environment where we can learn, grow, and prosper together.


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