Canadian Contractor

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August 21, 2013 News

She retires from a long career at Saskatoon renovation firm, then loses home and everything else in High River flood

by Steve Payne

Betty Tibble and her husband Ted were looking forward to a happy retirement in High River, Alberta, after Betty retired from renovation firm JABA Construction

August 21, 2013 News

Mike Holmes backs contractors against unreasonable clients

by Steve Payne

“A few home improvement shows (and I won’t mention which ones) have made some homeowners edgy and mistrustful of contractors,” Holmes wrote in The National Post. “Remember respect is a two-way street. You have to give it to get it.”

August 14, 2013 News

Illegal 'villa' on top of 26-storey apartment building in China might be world's most flagrant building code violation

by Steve Payne

The 8,600 sq.ft. structure looks like a craggy mountain-top mansion, surrounded by trees, rocks and shrubs. Presumably the tonnes of illegal construction materials all came up the elevator. We hope the builder booked it with the management office.

August 13, 2013 Video

Coaches' Corner VIDEO: Solving problems with the homeowner, Part 2

by Robert Koci

Whenever there’s a glitch, a screw-up, or a surprise on a renovation project, it’s tempting to forge right on with a solution that you, the renovator, thinks will work. But you need to make sure the client agrees with the changes you are going to make to the plans, to the schedule or to the finished look. Watch the video for more.

August 13, 2013 News

Send us your ceramic tile removal tips

by Steve Payne

Getting that old thinset chiselled out can take several days, if you are working on a large area of floor. Who’s got the best tool and accessory for getting it all cleaned up quickly?

August 13, 2013 News

Clients who want to "pitch in": God help us all

by Steve Payne

“Even with zero construction experience, you can still swing a sledgehammer,” a famous Canadian publication once advised it’s readers in an article called “9 Things Your Renovator Won’t Tell You.” The tenth thing he won’t tell you is that you are a moron.

August 6, 2013 Video

Coaches' Corner VIDEO: Solving problems with the homeowner, Part 1

by Robert Koci

In our latest Coaches Corner video (here), Mike Draper of Renovantage.com chats with Rob Koci, associate publisher of Canadian Contractor. This week’s topic: How to get to the REAL root of any problems you may be having with homeowners during

August 6, 2013 News

Six home improvements your customers are being warned away from

by Steve Payne

Swimming pools, overbuilding, over-landscaping the property, overly high-end upgrades, wall-to-wall carpeting and “invisible improvements” may not pay off when your client sells their property, according to this article.

July 30, 2013 News

Post of the week: More disturbing facts from Joe Greps on the Ontario College of Trades

by Steve Payne

The Ontario Ministry of Labour very definitely was in the business of checking contractors’ credentials, Greps says. And, no, the Ontario College of Trades does not currently have the funding to do all of the things it says it is going to do.

July 30, 2013 News

Most-viewed story of the month: The Burnt Deck Incident

by Steve Payne

The Burnt Deck Incident was a story covered by Global News in Edmonton, in which a contractor managed to build the stairs of a client’s deck right next to her fireplace vent. Ouch. But it was how they dealt with (or refused to deal with) the complaint that has kept the issue smouldering.

July 23, 2013 News

BILD raises $36,000 for Habitat for Humanity in Toronto

by Steve Payne

BILD has raised more than $570,000 for the shelter charity since 2003

July 23, 2013 News

How not to handle a complaint from a customer: The burnt deck incident

by Steve Payne

An Edmonton contractor has received terrible publicity from a client who complained that he built the stairs to her deck within 2-inches of her fireplace vent, resulting in burnt stairs. Instead of just fixing the problem, the contractor allegedly insisted that the customer agree to take down a negative online review of the situation.

July 22, 2013 Video

Managing your online reputation: VIDEO interview Part 2 with Brian Sharwood, HomeStars

by Robert Koci

You are online whether you want to be or not. You need to manage what is being said about you and your company.

July 22, 2013 News

Getting tough on unregistered renovators in New Jersey

by Steve Payne

Canadian business owners generally face more regulation and paperwork than their counterparts south of the border. But not when it comes to home renovations as regulated by the state of New Jersey. Today, eight home repair contractors were busted for doing post-Hurricane Sandy repair work without state licenses.

July 16, 2013 Video

How to manage your online reputation: Interview with Brian Sharwood, HomeStars

by Robert Koci

It’s a listing you never asked for and don’t want and there are bad reviews from angry customers attached. What can you do? HomeStars president Brian Sharwood tells us why the listing is there and how to protect your reputation.

July 16, 2013 News

Canada wins gold at World Skills 2013: "The Olympics of the Skilled Trades"

by Steve Payne

Canada is now, officially, a world beater in hockey, curling, refrigeration and heating.

July 16, 2013 News

Readers' Post of the Week: The Ontario College of Trades reminds him of "Florida and cheap land"

by Steve Payne

Reader Joe Kreps not impressed after doing the math on recent claims by the Ontario College of Trades

July 10, 2013 News

Imagine a $10,000 marketing budget

by Robert Koci

Seriously. Imagine it. What would you do with that kind of money to promote your company.