Questions that you should be asking your contractor
My contractor wants 30% down to "buy materials", should I give that to him?
You should never give a contractor any money as an advance for work to be done. There is nothing stopping a contractor from walking away with your money. By law, it will not be considered fraud if he intends to do your work sometime in the future; you will have no way out of this situation, should it arise. Money should be paid to the contractor only after the materials have been secured to the premises and the materials become your property.
Legacy Renovators are a successful and financially strong company. We do not need an advance to get the job started. We require 10% to make the contract binding; this payment will be made to our lawyer to hold until 45 days after the job is complete. This protects you by ensuring that all suppliers have been paid and that the title to your home is clear. Only after that certification do we receive payment.
Why does the contractor need to provide me with insurance coverage?
Contractors' insurance covers you against unforeseen mishaps caused by the contractor or one of his subs. The most common situation is the plumber causing a fire and burning the house down. In that case, you will want the contractor to pay for the reconstruction; you never want to make a claim on your own insurance. The law requires a $2,000,000 coverage allowance. The close proximity of homes in Toronto causes fire damage to affect the neighboring homes. Should such an emergency occur, $2,000,000 may not be sufficient and your insurance would have to cover the balance.
Legacy Design Toronto has $4,000,000 of Liability Insurance and provides you with an Insurance Binder with your name on it. This confirms that you are protected.
Why does the contractor have to be financially stable and strong?
If the contractor is not financially sound, he may be unable to make payments to his suppliers and workers. Should that happen, under the Lien Law of Ontario, third parties have the right to place a lien on your home and eventually take possession. In the worst case scenario, you may lose your home. In the best case, you may have to pay restitution and your credit rating may be adversely affected.
Legacy Renovators is financially sound. We require payment weekly, after the materials are installed - except the final payment, which occurs 45 days after the work is fully complete and the lien period is over. We certify that there are no liens before we take the final payment.
What qualifies the contractor to actually start tearing my home apart and attempt to put it back together again?
Other than electrical, plumbing, and refrigeration trades, there are NO licensing requirements in Ontario . Anyone can call himself a contractor and start working on a home. A house is a very complex assembly of thousands of components working together to provide a safe habitable space. If the contractor is uneducated and inexperienced, he is unable to modify the existing home and rebuild a safe habitable space again.
Legacy Renovators principals are graduates of Engineering and Design disciplines. Respectively, they have 40 and 25 years of experience working in construction. They have taken and passed the mandatory Ontario written examination qualifying them to construct new homes. They continuously attend trade shows and seminars to keep up with the latest technologies. They subscribe to publications like Fine Homebuilding, Journal of Light Construction, and Ontario Home Builder to ensure that they are continuously improving themselves. This background ensures that problems which can occur are solved in a safe and timely manner.
Why do we need a permit?
A permit ensures that the work being done meets government regulations. It also enables an independent third party to keep an eye on the construction, making certain that minimum standards are being met. Without a permit, the government has the right to make you tear out all new construction. As well, you will have no redress should unsafe work be done.
Legacy Renovators does not work without all the relevant permits. This fact confirms that we are a legitimate organization complying with all aspects of the law. We also invite a third party to verify that the work meets government standards. Again, Legacy Renovators ensures that should there be a catastrophe, the insurance company will cover all of the damages involved.
Why should I pay by check and not cash?
If you pay by cash there is no record of payment occurring. A supplier to the contractor can place a lien on your home for non-payment. With all of the consequent turmoil that would ensue, you would receive no compensation. It is also safe to assume that a person working for cash is not paying his fair share of GST and Revenue Taxes. Do you really want a cheat inside your home?
Legacy Renovators does not work for cash. We charge GST on the cost of the contract. This protects both parties as there is proof of payment and a record of the GST transaction. This also assures you that we are legitimate and will exist in the future.
Do I really need a multi page contract?
A brief one page contract can never cover the complexity of modifying a home. The brevity of such a contract leads to cost overruns, arguments with the contractor about what was intended and actually delivered, and no means of resolving issues.
Legacy Renovators has a multi page contract that covers every conceivable situation and a means of resolving any deadlock. It describes the following: Scope of Work, Materials to be used, Payment Schedule, Guaranteed part of the cost and Allowances for the owner, Responsibilities of the Owners and the Contractor, and a detailed blue print of the work to be done. Change Orders are also addressed. This ensures that the work progresses smoothly and on-time, and that there are no misunderstandings.