Single, need contractors
Contractors are usually big people. They have to be. They're the people we rely on to lift heavy equipment, jimmy troublesome pipes, and crank difficult hardware.
As a single woman in my first home, which we're going to politely call a fixer-upper, I need contractors. I need plumbers and electricians and roofers and masons. I need fire alarm specialists, heating installers and I even need a pond designer, I mean a water garden specialist.
When it came time for me to look around and find someone I could trust in my home, I wasn’t entirely sure where to start looking. The news is a little too full with stories of women who didn't do their due diligence, and I wasn’t about to add to the statistics.
Across Canada, each province has its own regulatory board for the professions you may require. For example, electrical contractors in Ontario have an association that lists its certified members by city — www.mcao.org/dotnetnuke/MembershipInfo. In British Columbia, their mechanical contractors also provide an association from which you can search here www.mcabc.org/page/find.
You can find the organization in your province or territory that can provide you with a list of their certified contractors. Once you’ve reached out to some, or each on the list, and found the specialists who meet your skill-level and budget, set up a meeting.
Coffee shops are today's instant office, and a great neutral ground to meet and discuss the specific plans you have in mind. Here you can get into specifics without revealing your actual address. You can talk about the ideas you have, hear their solutions and discuss materials and probably get a ballpark quote.
It's also in this meeting that you can agree to a payment structure for the work involved.
If you're feeling comfortable and confident with this contractor, invite them over to your house when you've got a friend who can join you. There they can give you a true assessment and write a specific quote for the job.
Finally, trust your instincts and bring re-enforcements. Let your neighbours, colleagues, friends and family know that you’ve got contractors working in your home. As such, and while the contractors are there, encourage these important people to come on by and see what they’re working on.
By doing this, you're sending a strong message that you’re not alone, that you have a strong support network around you, and this house is someone’s home — even if it does need a little bit of TLC.
Nationwide regulatory boards
Construction Associations Directory:www.cca-acc.com/en/membership/search-partner-associations
Electrical Association: www.ecaa.ab.ca/affiliations
Plumbers & Pipefitters association of Canada: www.uacanada.ca
Cement Association of Canada: www.cement.ca/en/CAC-Members
Canadian Home Builder's Association: www.chba.ca/members/find-member
Written by Kellie Ann Benz