In Ontario, any agreement with a contractor worth more than $50 must be in writing. This means that you should have a contract even for small home renovations or repairs. And, if the contract is signed in your home, you are also entitled to a 10 calendar-day cooling off period. Within these 10 days, you may cancel your contract without having to provide a reason or pay a cancellation fee.
Make sure your contract includes:
- The contractor’s name, address and contact information.
- A thorough description of the project, including the materials to be used.
- A copy of the written estimate.
- A clear description of any warranties.
- The total cost and payment schedule, including the deposit amount. We recommend keeping down payments at no more than 10 per cent of the total cost of the contract.
- A work schedule, including start and completion dates.
Avoid falling into the temptation of “paper-free” deals that sound too good to be true. Remember that no receipt means that you have no proof of purchase.
These tips have been provided by Consumer Protection Ontario, a consumer awareness program from the government of Ontario. Visit Ontario.ca/HomeRenos to learn about your rights and responsibilities before you get started. (Information supplied by RECO)