Hiring Moonlighting Contractors

Constantly we see posts on websites like Kijiji.ca and Facebook Marketplace with people offering services from housekeeping to home building. So, my question to you is when do you draw the line to moonlighting side jobs. I get it you want to save money and build a new deck, but does hiring the person who quotes you the lowest price really seems like the best decision when it comes to the safety of yourself, friends and family?

We’ve all seen the ads of contractors claiming to be “Red Seal Carpenters” and when you look closely photos they post of their work from the professional standpoint you can see it’s not build to the Canadian Building Code or even HRM Deck Building Codes. So when the poor soul that hired them to do this work goes to sell their home and a Home Inspector is hired to inspect the home for the buyer writes in their report that the “Deck doesn’t meet code” and all the money the seller spent on having the new deck constructed is just as good shredded. Because now the homeowner is faced with a tough choice “either lower the agreed price so the new owner can have the deck redone to meet code and get the property insured or hire a reputable contractor to do the work “again” so the bargain deck has just cost double if not more with disposal fees, permits, labor and materials. Oh and good luck trying to find a reputable deck contractor during the season.

Here are some helpful tips to avoid working with freelance contractors.

  1. Ask if they have Workers Compensation Insurance

  2. Ask if they can send you a Certificate of Insurance once the Contract is signed

  3. Ask if they have a contract for you to sign

  4. Ask if they have an HST number

  5. Ask if they pull permits and how much they charge for this service

  6. When they come to quote your job notice if they are doing a rough sketch of your property and deck - as they will need this information to pull permits with HRM building department

  7. Notice if they have a professional email address and address  or any online presence

  8. Hire a Construction Consultant to oversee the process, review the scope of work, apply for the permits, review sketches and quality of work before it goes sideways.

I’m leaving this post open to discussion, love to hear your views

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