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Will getting three quotes find the bad banana?

I constantly hear “Get a minimum of three quotes from contractors.”


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April 23, 2012 by Alec Caldwell

When homeowners get three quotes, what are they comparing? Is it the fact that one contractor will be the highest priced, another in the medium range and finally the lowest quote?  Is that the way to start comparing contractors? Is that the way to find who’s best qualified? I say it’s time homeowners and those spouting this three quote system, change their tune.

Here are my thoughts. Maybe we should all start be qualifying contractors based on credentials like: what coverage’s do they carry to protect the homeowner, they have liability insurance, WSIB, Personal Accident insurance? How about compliance with the Ministry of Labour and have they completed the two mandatory courses “Fall Protection Awareness or WHMIS? Are they bonded, are they part of any associations, are they licensed, what qualifications do they have and more?

I feel once you find contractors who are all playing on the same level field, then go with the three quote system, if you want. Let’s finally start comparing apples to apples and not apples to bananas, as in bananas there is always a bad one in the bunch and bad bananas cost less. Just a thought!

Alec Caldwell (CARAHS Founder) CARAHS is a Non – Profit Organization who educates, informs and offers benefits to those self employed in the home renovation and home services industry.

www.carahs.org Toll free 1-866-366-2930 alec@carahs.org


Alec Caldwell

Alec Caldwell

Alec Caldwell is the Founder of CARAHS, a Health & Safety Organization. We are approved providers by the Ministry of Labour (Ontario) to teach Working at Heights Training (Pro#34609) Visit the Ministry of Labour's web site to view our listing
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3 Comments » for Will getting three quotes find the bad banana?
  1. Gary Toole says:

    Hi I do agree… firstly be aware of the contractors you are inviting to quote your job… It cost money to be in business, and cutting corners only cost legitamate contractors more money in the long run… as fly by night contractors leave bills with wholesalers and they have to charge more money to make up those losses… check their credentials and back rounds, a business thats is established is far easier to deal with, and getting calls back from, less seasoned co. can be dificult and frustrating… and get the work backed by an electrical permit, it costs more but you can get support from the Electrical Safety Branch who can identify issues, and contact Company FSRs responsible for the work… ensuring safe installation practices…

    • Hafiz says:

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  2. Alec Caldwell says:

    Hi there Gary,
    Thanks for replying and your right about your credentials comment, that’s something most forget about.

    We’ve found there’s lots of contractors out there who don’t realise they’re putting homeowners at risk. Then there are others who don’t care, usually quoting the lowest price and delivering work to match.

    Now from the viewpoint of contractors safety, most don’t realise the dangers they also face hiring sub trades (self employed or not) after someone gets injured, it opens up a can of worms for the contractor, as the Ministry of Labour is normally dragged in to the picture, causing some sleepless nights and more.

    We have information on this very subject for contractors. So if you or anyone else wants details on how to protect themselves, simply contacts Monica toll free at: 1-866-366-2930 or by email at monica@carahs.org

    Hope this helps?
    Cheers,