Before any contractor does work on your home, you need to ensure the company is legit. Hiring a company that doesn’t have the proper coverage in place leaves you on the hook for more than just the bill. Ask your contractor for these 5 things to prove that they are legit and that you are in good hands.
A Master Business License proves that the business is registered in the province of Ontario. This license is required to obtain the rest of the items on this list and to open a business bank account. The Master Business License bears the Ontario trillium logo and clearly states the business name as well as the date of issue . Obtaining this license is one of the first steps in opening a business. A contractor who can’t provide this license is probably not running a legal business.
Most cities have a business licensing program enforced through the local bylaw office. Obtaining a local business license requires a Master Business License and Certificate of Insurance. Some cities such as Hamilton require a contractor to pass an exam on building code and best practices to obtain a license. Licensing ensures that contractors have the proper coverage in place to protect local residents. Cities often require contractors to obtain a business license to work in their city even if they are from another area.
This item is VERY important. A General Liability policy provides coverage in the event damage, injury or death that occur as a result of business activity. If you hire a contractor who isn’t insured you are liable for injuries or damage that occur during your project. Most local business licenses require contractors to carry $2 million of coverage. Contractors who work on large projects may carry more insurance.
The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board provides coverage to workers when injuries occur on the job. In the event that an injury occurs during a project the home owner becomes liable if the contractor doesn’t have WSIB. A contractor who has proper coverage and is in good standing will be able to provide a Clearance Certificate stating that they are “eligible for clearance”. They can also provide their WSIB number and you can check if they are eligible by calling WSIB.
Trades such as electricians, heating and cooling, or plumbers are required to get a trade certificate and complete an apprenticeship program. In this case the contractor should be able to provide proof of education. Trades such as shingle roofing do not have formal training programs and are much less regulated. In that case, ask if they have training relevant to the products they use such as being manufacturer certified. For example, Aucoin Roofing is an Owens Corning Preferred Contractor. This requires having a business license, insurance, testing, credit check and an interview. Product specific training is less formal than a trade certificate but it shows a commitment to quality and excellence. Workers must also have training specific to safety risks of their trade. Examples of safety training are Working At Heights training, propane handling, or aerial work platform training.
Contractors who can provide these 5 things are off to a good start. Proper licensing and insurance protects the customer in the event of injury or property damage. If the contractor can’t provide the proper documents it is a red flag that the business is not legit. Trust your gut. You should feel confident that the contractor you hire is qualified and able to do the job right!
Contact us at Aucoin Roofing Inc and we will be happy to answer any of your questions.Contact Us