Magazine for professional home renovators.

Alec Caldwell

What are the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) inspectors’ powers?

The powers of Ontario College of Trades enforcement officers are strictly limited by the legislation that created the OCOT in the first place. Here, we have reproduced the section of the law that deals with visits by these officers.

Fearful for their safety on the job but afraid to speak out

Sid Ryan of the Ontario Federation of Labour has talked about incentives being used by construction firms to encourage their workers not to file WSIB claims.


Alec Caldwell on the Toronto house collapse tragedy

Alec Caldwell has been cautioning renovation contractors of the risks of such a massive tragedy, through his work with CARAHS, for the past two years on this site

Great expectations!

Alec Caldwell posts about the mutual distrust between too many contractors and homeowner-customers… Neither side trusts the other, too often, and the whole thing becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy…

Ontario WSIB: Time to heat up their phone lines at their ‘Fair Practices Commission’

The WSIB has a fair practices commission. Their president and CEO, I. David Marshall, is just a few months away from completing his 5-year term, with a $400,000 bonus very likely awaiting him on the way out. Are you, as a contractor, feeling fairly treated?

mto officer writing ticket

Opinion: “I think the MTO (Ontario Ministry of Transport vehicle safety cops) are vultures.”

Our columnist Alec Caldwell says the MTO officers he saw by the side of the road recently, apparently staking out the access road to a well-used, legal construction dump site, were engaged in an ‘entrapment’ scheme

Driving in the big city: Confrontations with other drivers and road rage

Some people become demons when they climb behind the wheel. Taking their aggressive driving actions personally could cost you your life – or at the least a criminal record.

Drunken people

Alcohol and substance abuse in the workplace

I watched as the police officer dragged him out of his company vehicle on a Saturday morning. It was just after 9:15am. His vehicle had mounted the curb at a traffic light. Luckily…

Contractors: Are you all work and no play?

If you are all work and no play, as a professional contractor, you are going to burn out. Planning a vacation should be part of your business plan – it will increase your happiness AND productivity.

ambulance, new

In a work site accident, is calling 911 your rescue plan?

Calling 911 is NOT a jobsite rescue plan in the event of an accident on your worksite. Rescue plans have to be a little more detailed than that. Read this article for some tips on the extra information you need to build into YOUR plan.