Magazine for professional home renovators.

Coaches corner

VIDEO: Contractor Coach Mike Draper’s best solution to our “Family Business” conflict-of-interest challenge

Conflicts of interest created by personal relationships are common in family contracting business. See how Mike Draper would solve this particular one.


Trying to make your Ontario WSIB payments by cutting your private insurance? A bad idea – and here’s why…

Ontario WSIB can be extremely expensive. But abandoning your own, private, individual sickness and disability insurance – just to help pay for hour WSIB – is going to absolutely kill you financially if you get cancer or another critical illness

Bleasby flat roof

From commercial pilot to general contractor: (9) ‘Roofer madness’

“I’ve taken quite a bit of ribbing over our decision to build a house with a flat roof… But the technology is proven.”

If you’re in the residential service business, then StraightForward Pricing is the only way to go

“The last thing you want is some customer standing behind you, looking at their watch and complaining that you’re too slow for their wallet.”

Minister, it is unbelievable that you have accepted this conflict of interest (at the College of Trades) and done nothing about it…

The Ontario College of Trades is about as democratic as the Republic of North Korea. It needs to stop congratulating itself about how it’s all about the trades being “self-regulated.” No contractor ever voted for any policy decision from the Ontario College of Trades, except for the handful that have been selected by their (mostly union) friends and (public sector) cronies for plum board or committee jobs. The self-regulation stuff is nothing but BS.

Having know Mike for many years, it was a surprise for me to see him venture into the referral business

“Follow-up is a major commitment and you have to do it, otherwise your credibility will suffer.”

Contractor referral model… is flawed and not sustainable

“The costs are too high and quality standards are not uniform,” says Alec Beraskow.


Nominate your customer to appear on a DIY TV show on the Discovery Channel

How terrible a DIYer was your customer before you stepped in? Terrible enough to star in a new DIY TV program that promises thousands of dollars to the winning couple?


Ontario Ministry of Labour begins summer safety blitz, focusing on fall prevention

Don’t be surprised if you see a MoL inspector on your jobsite, even if you are “just” doing a renovation… The MoL keep an eagle eye on the big commercial builders, yes. But 37% of safety orders written by MoL inspectors during their safety blitz last summer, were written at single-family residential jobsites.

bleasby safety fence

From commercial pilot to general contractor: (8) More hoops and hurdles

Fourteen weeks into his family’s new home build, John Bleasby has passed through about five inspections. They’ve actually ben “pleasant experiences” for the veteran, retired commercial pilot and rookie GC.