Canadian Contractor


April 18, 2015 News

Ontario home purchasers still in love with brick, block and stone

by Steve Payne

British Columbians often shake their heads at Ontarians obsession with brick housing, but the status symbol of masonry just never seems to diminish in Southern Ontario

April 1, 2015 News

Initial costs versus lifetime costs for alternate roofing materials

by John Bleasby

Most contractors understand the basic cost differences for asphalt shingles versus steel. But let’s look at the economics of some other popular roofing materials.

December 30, 2014 News

Building code changes in Ontario

by Steve Payne

Mid-rise wooden structures in Ontario soon to be a reality

November 20, 2014 News

Ontario's ESA fines another unlicensed electrician, warns public not to pay bills without Certificate of Inspection "in hand"

by Steve Payne

The ESA is really beginning to get the public’s attention with its campaign to fine (and in one case, imprison) unlicensed electricians

October 22, 2014 Voice

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

by Alec Caldwell

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?

October 17, 2014 News

There is no such thing as a small electrical mistake

by Steve Payne

The ESA’s “Hazardous Homes” website invites the public to look at how various electrical accidents happened. They get to play detective, and think about how easy it is for a homeowner – or a poorly electrical-code-educated contractor – to set up a potentially fatal piece of mis-wiring.

October 15, 2014 Voice

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

by Alec Caldwell

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.

October 3, 2014 News

Can you have a backflow protector on the ducting, so the air is not blown into the other bathroom?

by Steve Payne

We seem to get more questions on bathroom venting than we do on any other topic. Here’s another one.

September 30, 2014 Voice

From pilot to contractor: (18) The sprint to the finish

by Robert Koci

Pilot-turned-contractor John Bleasby is less than one week away from Move In Day on his family’s dreamhome, north of Orillia, ON. In this week’s blog he talks about the “controlled chaos” he is living near the end of his project.

August 29, 2014 News

A few points about Magboard (from Ben Polley, alternative builder)

by Steve Payne

Ben Polley is one of the most experienced “alternative” and sustainable and eco-conscious builders in Canada. He has test-driven magnesium oxide board and here are his thoughts about it.

August 27, 2014 News

Canada Wood Council calls cement industry objections to the safety of mid-rise wooden structures a "cheap shot"

by Steve Payne

There are billions of dollars in play, and there’s a veritable hockey fight breaking out between the wood industry and the cement industry in Canada about allowing mid-rise structures to be built out of wood

August 22, 2014 News

If you board your walls using MagO magnesium oxide board you can benefit by reducing many of the fussy requirements (of gypsum)

by Steve Payne

Peter Francis writes to us about the inherent stiffness and strength of MagO (magnesium oxide) boards, in place of gypsum. Let us know if you’ve used MagO boards – and how you and your client(s) liked the experience.

July 30, 2014 Voice

Construction trench fatality in Toronto: there are NO “accidents”

by Alec Caldwell

“These deaths always stem from human error, be it lack of training, pushing too fast and taking shortcuts, lack of equipment, or poor supervision.”

July 30, 2014 Voice

Construction trench fatality in Toronto: there are NO "accidents"

by Alec Caldwell

“These deaths always stem from human error, be it lack of training, pushing too fast and taking shortcuts, lack of equipment, or poor supervision.”

July 16, 2014 Video

(VIDEO) Ontario College of Trades: Licensed plumber Garfield Dunlop MPP hammers the Liberals on union bias

by Robert Koci

Ontario’s Liberal government, re-elected with a 9-seat majority, came under fire from Garfield Dunlop, skilled trades critic for the PC party, during today’s question period at Queen’s Park. Dunlop alleges a pro-union bias and a conflict on interest involving the Ontario College of Trades

July 4, 2014 News

A pattern of needless, completely preventable workplace deaths

by Steve Payne

“I expect this epidemic of workplace deaths and injuries to be addressed head-on by the government…” Patrick Dillon, a leading union voice in Ontario, wrote

June 18, 2014 Voice

From commercial pilot to general contractor (4): How I became an ICF ‘Block Head’

by John Bleasby

John Bleasby had heard some negatives about using ICFs from hearsay but decided, after more in-depth research, to use them. He has found four serious advantages of using ICFs over poured concrete foundations and outlines them here. He says using ICFs was one of his best decisions.

June 18, 2014 Voice

From commercial pilot to general contractor (4): How I became an ICF 'Block Head'

by John Bleasby

John Bleasby had heard some negatives about using ICFs from hearsay but decided, after more in-depth research, to use them. He has found four serious advantages of using ICFs over poured concrete foundations and outlines them here. He says using ICFs was one of his best decisions.