Canadian Contractor


April 25, 2014 Video

Rob and Steve with the Dimplex Fireplace. (Not even a paid spot!)

by Robert Koci

The safest fire is no fire at all. Or something like that.

April 4, 2014 News

B.C. workers are dying every year from negligence and yet we still don't see criminal prosecution…

by Steve Payne

B.C. union official Lee Loftus is among the many union voices in the province who are calling for new legislation to allow criminal charges against corporate executives in the event of workplace accidents.

March 26, 2014 News

Window manufacturers compete to win ENERGY STAR's affections

by Steve Payne

Ontario window manufacturer Vinyl Window Designs was quick to notice when it’s competitor won a recent ENERGY STAR award. The firm’s Phil Lewin wrote to us to tout VWD’s own successes with the Ottawa-based energy efficiency rating agency.

February 19, 2014 News

David Tsubouchi, recently-appointed Registrar and CEO of Ontario College of Trades, still working daytimes at his law firm

by Steve Payne

The previous occupant of the top job at the Ontario College of Trades pulled in nearly $180,000 annually from that position. Now it seems that you can get that job, as David Tsubouchi has, and still work elsewhere during the day

January 10, 2014 News

Well said, Mr. Koci. Rob Ford is one politician that is fighting the unions

by Steve Payne

One reader, Vinnie, had an opposite viewpoint on Koci’s editorial in support of Rob Ford. “I URGE you to all to FIRE ROBERT KOCI,” he wrote.

December 13, 2013 Voice

The Ministry of Labour is ready to play Scrooge. Safety-wise, have you been naughty or nice?

by Alec Caldwell

CARAHS can quickly help you get compliant according to Occupational Health & Safety Act requirements on your site. If you don’t have a Policies & Procedures Manual for jobsite safety, call us today.

December 6, 2013 News

If I wanted something done under the table, I know exactly who to call: the fire department

by Steve Payne

“What gets my goat is that the government is fully aware of (this) very large underground base.”

November 13, 2013 Product

Masons launch campaign against National Building Code's anticipated wood-frame provisions

by Brynna Leslie

“An attack ad has reignited a simmering feud between the Canadian wood industry and rival groups in the construction sector,” according to an article in the Edmonton Journal. Since British Columbia introduced its Wood First Act in 2009, the Canadian

November 4, 2013 News

Having a positive mindset equals a successful renovations business

by Brynna Leslie

A positive mindset can make the difference between a successful business and one that’s just slogging along, says contractor Ian Szabo. “This industry is the most underappreciated there is – for the amount of work you do and the time

October 30, 2013 News

Solar panels can endanger firefighters' lives, CBC News reports

by Brynna Leslie

An Ontario fire chief says that solar panels can hinder his crews’ ability to cut a vent in a roof when fighting a fire, posing the risk of electrocution.

October 15, 2013 Voice

Don't wire up your clients to 'Old Sparky'! Thoughts on renovators doing their own 'minor' electrical work

by Alec Caldwell

Every time you do electrical work without a license, as a professional renovator, you are leaving a liability in place that could come back to haunt you, even many years after you retire, if there is a fire at the property.

October 15, 2013 Voice

Don’t wire up your clients to ‘Old Sparky’! Thoughts on renovators doing their own ‘minor’ electrical work

by Alec Caldwell

Every time you do electrical work without a license, as a professional renovator, you are leaving a liability in place that could come back to haunt you, even many years after you retire, if there is a fire at the property.

October 1, 2013 Voice

Remodelers Advantage Business Summit Day 1: Jonathan Wolske, Zappos Customer Service. Building a culture of service

by Robert Koci

Down in Las Vegas, Rob Koci reports on the Remodelers Advantage Business Summit. Here are some great tips on how to build a winning “company culture” in your renovation firm.

September 24, 2013 News

A worksite supervisor melts down!

by Alec Caldwell

“Get off my site! GET OFF MY SITE!!” The super cranks up the volume. He’s in rabid dog attack mode. Why? Because he’s already had a jobsite accident at one of his sites and the Ministry of Labour enquiry is no fun at all.

September 17, 2013 Product

The ABCs of ICFs, a review

by Robert Koci

Since we ran our first article on ICFs (Insulated Concrete Forms) on this website last year, we’ve had a LOT of questions from contractors about what ICFs are, and how they can be used in renovation contracting and new homebuilding. Here’s the article again, with some interesting posts underneath it, including one today from Gary Brown at Amvic System, a major Canadian ICF supplier.

September 4, 2013 Voice

Who wants to pay higher CPP premiums for a greater pension?

by Alec Caldwell

“As a self-employed small business owner myself, I’ve never been a union guy or carried one of their cards in my life. Yet I find myself on the side of the unions (in the current debate over increases to CPP premiums.”

August 21, 2013 News

How to hire the right painter: A general contractor's guide

by Steve Payne

Reaching for the Yellow Pages to find a painter is fine if all you want is the cheapest bid or someone to do mass production. But for most quality contractors, that is just too risky.

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.