Looking for services such as roof replacement, heat pump installation, bathroom or kitchen renovation, door and window replacement or any other work on your property? Contractors shouldn’t be chosen lightly, but how do you make sure you’ve found someone trustworthy? Along with exercising vigilance, here are six important steps you can take to set yourself up for success.
In Québec, all natural and legal persons that do home renovation work for you are required to hold a Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) licence.
Ask your contractor for their licence number and check our repertory to see if it’s valid:
In addition to holding a valid RBQ licence, your contractor must have the subclasses required for the contracted work. To learn more about subclasses, take a look at our Keyword Index.
By choosing a contractor with a valid RBQ licence, you’re sure to be dealing with a company:
Some contractors are also subject to a continuing education requirement.
Our repertory also shows the number of licence security claims made against the contractor and the compensation paid to previous clients by the contractor’s guarantor over the past 5 years. Watch out—these claims mean the contractor breached the contract and failed to refund the client.
Checking the Registre des entreprises du Québec (REQ) allows you to see:
Note that the contractor may not have a REQ file if they work alone in their company.
By consulting the Get Information About a Merchant tool on the website of the Office de la protection du consommateur (OPC), you can check, among other things, whether your contractor has received formal notices from customers or whether the Office has intervened with your contractor in the course of its monitoring activities (notice of offence, criminal prosecution, etc.).
Nothing beats word-of-mouth, so ask around! If no one you know has a contractor to recommend, don’t be shy to ask multiple contractors for customer references.
Note that though they may be convenient, agencies that connect you with contractors often don’t offer any additional guarantees or protection in the event of an issue.
We recommend asking at least three contractors for quotes. That way, you’ll be able to compare:
All verbal agreements between you and your contractor should be recorded in writing. Visit our Signing a contract page for a list of things you can include in your contract to better protect yourself.
Make sure that the name of the contractor on the contract matches the name of the company holing the licence. Check the Licence holder’s repertory to do so.
If in doubt regarding the contracts, visit the Office the protection du consommateur website for tips.
Renovations are a big investment of time and money. Take the time to properly analyze your options and contract before hiring a contractor.
Contractors sometimes go door-to-door to offer services like:
Don’t get pressured by the merchant into making a decision. Many companies use dishonest sales tactics for these types of contracts.
If you are interested in an itinerant merchant’s services, take down their contact information and then take all the steps listed above before signing a contract. You should also check the Office de la protection du consommateur (OPC) website to make sure they have an itinerant merchant permit. You will also find tips before purchasing form an itinerant salesperson in this page.
Verification of judicial records: