Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How to find a contractor in Toronto

If you have ever watched Holmes on Homes, you probably think finding a decent contractor in the GTA is an insurmountable task. That's how we felt two years ago, and we went with the contractor our architect recommended on blind faith. (I don't recommend this strategy.) This time we were ready to take on the challenge.

We used four different resources to select firms to bid on the job:
1) a referral from a friend,
2) calling the firm that was working on a neighborhood house,
3) referral from our engineer, and
4) Homestars

Homestars has become an important tool for all of our fix ups around the house. The site doesn't have a subcategory for basement underpinning (not that I know of) or a search function that pulled up what I wanted to see, so I used google to do a search on the website for the word 'underpin'. I then read through all the search results, and read all reviews for those companies that had highest ratings.

We ended up with five contractors. (If you think this is overkill I wont tell you how many people we called to have four simple glass shelves installed in the kitchen)

We are now going through the due diligence process - which means interviews and site tours. I have pretty much ruled out one of the contractors after seeing their work. The finished details just did not live up to my expectations. I am hoping we can tour a basement that another contractor recently completed for a couple who are both architects. I will be looking for inspiration while scrutinizing his workmanship. The wild card of this search is the firm recommended by our engineer. We will interview them next Monday and see.

I will let you know exactly how we choose the best guy for the job in an upcoming post.

No comments:

Post a Comment