Do your homework when hiring a home renovator

Living Apr 22, 2015 by Mike Pearson Stoney Creek News

Now that the warmer weather is finally here, many homeowners will consider a spring renovation project like a new roof, a backyard deck or custom landscaping.

If you’re checking the classified ads, both online and in print, be sure to do your homework.

Stoney Creek contractor Bob Assadourian has spent more than a decade warning homeowners about the dangers of hiring unlicensed home renovators. Assadourian said homeowners shouldn’t assume a contractor is licensed just because the business runs regular print and online advertising.

When investing in your most valuable asset - your home - consumers should be absolutely certain that only licensed, qualified and insured contractors complete the work, said Assadourian.

The first step is to call the City of Hamilton at 905-546-2424 and ask for contractor licensing. When you meet the contractor in person, ask to see a Master Building Repair license, which is roughly the same size as a driver’s licence.

While finding the right contractor can sometimes be difficult, Assadourian recommends word-of-mouth referrals from friends and neighbours.

“Get some references and check their licence,” he said.

Along with looking into a contractor’s credentials, Assadourian said consumers should watch for red flags to determine whether a contractor is fully legitimate.

•Does the contractor have a land line or just a cell phone number?

•Does the contractor have a company vehicle with decals or just a plain white truck?

•Is the contractor anxious or in a hurry to get you to sign a contract?

Assadourian has heard many horror stories from homeowners who discovered too late that they hired an unlicensed contractor. In some cases, homeowners may pay up front and never see the contractor again. Many are too embarrassed to report home renovation fraud to police, said Assadourian.

“People often don’t come forward when they have been a victim,” he said.

The City of Hamilton is also warning residents to exercise caution when approached by unsolicited private contractors or representatives who claim to be affiliated with the city. The city has recently learned about different scenarios in which homeowners were approached by representatives claiming to be associated with the city, related to waste programs and lead water testing. In these cases, the representatives asked the homeowner to allow them to enter the home to provide a service on behalf of the city.

Hamilton’s public works department advises residents that any City of Hamilton representative visiting a home would have a City of Hamilton identification card and City of Hamilton uniform. The city typically only visits a home during an emergency situation, such as a water main break that would disrupt water service to the home, or for a previously arranged meeting with a homeowner about an issue or complaint.

Property owners who are approached by unsolicited contractors or representatives claiming to be affiliated with the City of Hamilton should report the incident to Hamilton police or the city by calling 905-546-2489.

Do your homework when hiring a home renovator

Living Apr 22, 2015 by Mike Pearson Stoney Creek News

Now that the warmer weather is finally here, many homeowners will consider a spring renovation project like a new roof, a backyard deck or custom landscaping.

If you’re checking the classified ads, both online and in print, be sure to do your homework.

Stoney Creek contractor Bob Assadourian has spent more than a decade warning homeowners about the dangers of hiring unlicensed home renovators. Assadourian said homeowners shouldn’t assume a contractor is licensed just because the business runs regular print and online advertising.

When investing in your most valuable asset - your home - consumers should be absolutely certain that only licensed, qualified and insured contractors complete the work, said Assadourian.

The first step is to call the City of Hamilton at 905-546-2424 and ask for contractor licensing. When you meet the contractor in person, ask to see a Master Building Repair license, which is roughly the same size as a driver’s licence.

While finding the right contractor can sometimes be difficult, Assadourian recommends word-of-mouth referrals from friends and neighbours.

“Get some references and check their licence,” he said.

Along with looking into a contractor’s credentials, Assadourian said consumers should watch for red flags to determine whether a contractor is fully legitimate.

•Does the contractor have a land line or just a cell phone number?

•Does the contractor have a company vehicle with decals or just a plain white truck?

•Is the contractor anxious or in a hurry to get you to sign a contract?

Assadourian has heard many horror stories from homeowners who discovered too late that they hired an unlicensed contractor. In some cases, homeowners may pay up front and never see the contractor again. Many are too embarrassed to report home renovation fraud to police, said Assadourian.

“People often don’t come forward when they have been a victim,” he said.

The City of Hamilton is also warning residents to exercise caution when approached by unsolicited private contractors or representatives who claim to be affiliated with the city. The city has recently learned about different scenarios in which homeowners were approached by representatives claiming to be associated with the city, related to waste programs and lead water testing. In these cases, the representatives asked the homeowner to allow them to enter the home to provide a service on behalf of the city.

Hamilton’s public works department advises residents that any City of Hamilton representative visiting a home would have a City of Hamilton identification card and City of Hamilton uniform. The city typically only visits a home during an emergency situation, such as a water main break that would disrupt water service to the home, or for a previously arranged meeting with a homeowner about an issue or complaint.

Property owners who are approached by unsolicited contractors or representatives claiming to be affiliated with the City of Hamilton should report the incident to Hamilton police or the city by calling 905-546-2489.

Do your homework when hiring a home renovator

Living Apr 22, 2015 by Mike Pearson Stoney Creek News

Now that the warmer weather is finally here, many homeowners will consider a spring renovation project like a new roof, a backyard deck or custom landscaping.

If you’re checking the classified ads, both online and in print, be sure to do your homework.

Stoney Creek contractor Bob Assadourian has spent more than a decade warning homeowners about the dangers of hiring unlicensed home renovators. Assadourian said homeowners shouldn’t assume a contractor is licensed just because the business runs regular print and online advertising.

When investing in your most valuable asset - your home - consumers should be absolutely certain that only licensed, qualified and insured contractors complete the work, said Assadourian.

The first step is to call the City of Hamilton at 905-546-2424 and ask for contractor licensing. When you meet the contractor in person, ask to see a Master Building Repair license, which is roughly the same size as a driver’s licence.

While finding the right contractor can sometimes be difficult, Assadourian recommends word-of-mouth referrals from friends and neighbours.

“Get some references and check their licence,” he said.

Along with looking into a contractor’s credentials, Assadourian said consumers should watch for red flags to determine whether a contractor is fully legitimate.

•Does the contractor have a land line or just a cell phone number?

•Does the contractor have a company vehicle with decals or just a plain white truck?

•Is the contractor anxious or in a hurry to get you to sign a contract?

Assadourian has heard many horror stories from homeowners who discovered too late that they hired an unlicensed contractor. In some cases, homeowners may pay up front and never see the contractor again. Many are too embarrassed to report home renovation fraud to police, said Assadourian.

“People often don’t come forward when they have been a victim,” he said.

The City of Hamilton is also warning residents to exercise caution when approached by unsolicited private contractors or representatives who claim to be affiliated with the city. The city has recently learned about different scenarios in which homeowners were approached by representatives claiming to be associated with the city, related to waste programs and lead water testing. In these cases, the representatives asked the homeowner to allow them to enter the home to provide a service on behalf of the city.

Hamilton’s public works department advises residents that any City of Hamilton representative visiting a home would have a City of Hamilton identification card and City of Hamilton uniform. The city typically only visits a home during an emergency situation, such as a water main break that would disrupt water service to the home, or for a previously arranged meeting with a homeowner about an issue or complaint.

Property owners who are approached by unsolicited contractors or representatives claiming to be affiliated with the City of Hamilton should report the incident to Hamilton police or the city by calling 905-546-2489.