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There is zero negotiation with my clients if a permit is required

"I don't want the hassle of being told to stop before I'm finished. Let alone being tangled up in someone else's drama."


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January 15, 2016 by Steve Payne

This from Neil Damackine, Construction ND, Terrebonne, QC.  Neil was a terrific contributor at our recent RenoFocus event in Toronto.

Thanks for your post, Neil!

My contract has a standard clause requiring the homeowner to provide all city-issued work permits and that is generally standard in my area (Quebec) although I am aware that service standards and the follow-up of post permit issuance inspections carry different responsibilities for contractors in other areas.

If the work is non-structural interior renovation I don’t push it beyond the initial enquiry. But the moment it’s either structural or involves electrical or plumbing, there’s zero negotiation if a permit is required and I’m very willing to walk away.

I make it crystal clear at the beginning of any job that because all work is done by appropriately licensed workers and subcontractors it’s all documented and taxed in a paper trail that ultimately shows where the work has taken place and who’s paid for it. The takeaway I stress to the client is there are no secrets if you want guarantees and value that’s transferable down the line.

As contractors we go through hoops of fire to get all the right licenses, permits, collars and shots for the pleasure of working so I just don’t want the hassle of being told to stop before I’m finished let alone being tangled up in someone else’s drama!


Steve Payne

Steve Payne

Steve Payne is the editor of Canadian Contractor magazine
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