Magazine for professional home renovators.

Alec Caldwell

Will the private member’s bill in Ontario, aiming to reduce WSIB premiums for independent operators, eventually become law?

Laura Albanese, Liberal MPP for York South-Weston, has introduced a bill to reduce the WSIB fees for independent operators, sole proprietors, partners in partnerships and executive officers of corporations.


On-site fire extinguishers: Yes, you have to have them, even for a small renovation job

Very few professional renovators give much attention to the issue of fire safety on the jobsite. Did you know that you are required to have fire extinguishers on your site, in locations that are plainly labelled, and that everyone on your site has to know how to use them?

red ink

Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) in the red last year by $3.5-million

If your business runs at minus 26 per cent profit, you’ll be pumping gas pretty soon. But don’t expect to see Ontario College of Trades registrar and CEO David Tsubouchi asking to check your oil down at your local ESSO.

More thoughts on competing with cash operators, and what the government needs to do about it

Ottawa’s Home Renovation Tax Credit not only stimulated renovation projects, it helped the government collect significant tax revenue it would not otherwise have received. It’s high time such a tax credit system was installed permanently.


The renovation boom in Canada: the best is yet to come

Residential renovations and repairs have more than doubled, dollar-wise, since the late 1990s. And the boom is continuing, fuelled by an ageing population.


Grow your contracting business to the next level: Policies & Procedures

All professional contracting businesses – no matter what size they are – need written Policies and Procedures for both legal and business management reasons. If you find the whole idea of creating these Policies and Procedures overwhelming, reach out to CARAHS, who have everything you need to set yourself up for success.

mto officer writing ticket

MTO: Contractor tried and convicted without a hearing!

Alec Caldwell reports on a contractor who charged by an MTO cop for his truck having a “Toll Device Improperly Fixed.” The contractor says he had no real opportunity to dispute the charge, living almost 50 miles from the courthouse where he was tried and convicted in absentia. One hundred and ten bucks more into the Ontario government coffers.


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