Four things to check when hiring a renovation contractor


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

Summer is a popular time to for renovations but how can you help to make sure you hire a contractor that is reputable and won’t dissappear into the night?

There are no guarantees in life, but there are ways to address this issue. One popular way is to hire a well-known company that has been around for years, or a company with the biggest advertising.

But what if you’re looking for someone who you can have more of a personal relationship with, that fits your budget, and maybe you just like giving the small guy your business?

https://youtu.be/awq7N7CLZpw

I recommend the following four things to look into when hiring a contractor.

  1. References – ask for references from homeowners who have worked with the contractor (preferably within the last 3 months)
  2. Reviews – check for Google reviews and see if they have a website and and if it corroborates an idea of how long they have been in business. Now not everyone gets a website going right away or is on top of reviews so cut them some slack if the timeline doesn’t line up perfectly).
  3. WSIB- An owner who hires a contractor to perform construction work should obtain a WSIB Clearance Certificate unless the contractor is performing “exempt home renovation work”.  To contact WSIB with your questions and to confirm registration here
  4. GST registration number – Use the GST/HST Registry to confirm that the business charging you GST/HST is registered. This will help ensure that your claims for input tax credits only include GST/HST charged by someone who is registered for GST/HST. You can get more information here.

Finally, check or get a copy of their driver’s licence so all the information you look up matches and you have the correct information to cross-check!

Happy reno adventures!

Kindly,

 

New Bluetooth Lockboxes


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

As of July 3, 2018,  REALTORS®  with homes listed on the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors Board will be implementing a new lockbox program replacing the conventional mechanical lockboxes that have been commonly used throughout Ontario for over the past 30 years. The new devices feature state-of-the-art technology to ensure KWAR REALTORS® continue to provide the highest standard of professional services to our clients.

This new program is a partnership with SentiLock LLC who are owned by the National Association of REALTORS® and currently provide services to over 400,000 REALTORS® in North America, and over 30,000 REALTORS® in Canada.

The SentriLock lockbox is Bluetooth compatible to allow the REALTORS®’s smart-phone to become their key, eliminating the use of  static passcodes.

Features of the new lockboxes include:

  • Accurately records the time, date and specific authorized REALTOR® who opened the lockbox.
  • Touch ID and Facial Recognition to open Lockbox through the REALTORS®’s app.
  • Notify the listing brokerage in real time when a lockbox is opened.
  • Individual lockboxes can be programmed to only operate during the showing hours approved by the seller.
  • Lockboxes are assigned to the property, creating a detailed and accurate record of all showings.
  • Operate in severe weather.
  • Long-life batteries.

It’s an exciting new change in our industry and I am looking forward to implementing a higher level of security and professionalism with my clients.

Kindly,