Canadian Contractor


February 21, 2014 News

The contractors (who took off) are asking for more $$ for work not done, and to cover the HST they say they did not charge me

by Steve Payne

Kris N. had her contractors take off in the middle of her renovation, never to return, it seems. Well, they are back, asking for money for work she says they didn’t do, for HST they said they “forgot” to charge her, and to place a lien on her house.

February 19, 2014 News

The underground economy: Was this the worst contractor in Toronto?

by Alec Caldwell

The contractor mis-represented herself as an employee of a Toronto home improvement store, went out to the customer’s home and asked for a personal cheque “to save HST,” and then sent in a tradesperson who removed a vital handrail before liening the house.

January 22, 2014 Voice

Spend two minutes reading this and avoid hefty Ontario WSIB fines for non-compliance!

by Alec Caldwell

Alec Caldwell has summarized Ontario’s new WSIB rules in an article that you can read in 120 seconds. It might save you tens of thousands of dollars in fines for non-compliance. READ THIS NOW if you don’t yet understand WSIB’s new powers.

December 20, 2013 Voice

Contractors beware: Banks' line of credit insurance may not pay out on your death

by Alec Caldwell

Two recent stories in the media detailed how benefits were denied by TD Canada Trust on line of credit insurance programs

December 20, 2013 Voice

Contractors beware: Banks’ line of credit insurance may not pay out on your death

by Alec Caldwell

Two recent stories in the media detailed how benefits were denied by TD Canada Trust on line of credit insurance programs

November 29, 2013 News

"I'm a Red Seal carpenter and I'm not permitted to wire a house… Why is it OK for an electrician to build a house?"

by Steve Payne

I’m not saying they don’t have the skill (to frame a house) but it sure seems like a lopsided situation.

November 27, 2013 Voice

Ontario WSIB registration deadline just six weeks away. They want your money.

by Alec Caldwell

The WSIB has started an advertising campaign to warn the public not to hire you without checking your WSIB credentials.

November 22, 2013 Voice

Too many Ontario contractors, forced into WSIB, have cancelled their own insurance

by Alec Caldwell

Even if you are now faced with mandatory WSIB fees for the first time in your career, you should remember that WSIB does not cover you for illnesses and accidents off the jobsite.

October 30, 2013 Voice

Opinion: New CEO at Ontario College of Trades has a chance to make it useful to our industry

by Alec Caldwell

The appointment of David Tsubouchi to the helm of OCOT might give the controversial new organization a chance to get its act together, Alec Caldwell argues.

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 2, 2013 News

Alec Caldwell weighs in on Jeff Koller's qualified support of Ontario WSIB expansion

by Alec Caldwell

Home renovation contractors are only “exempt” from mandatory WSIB payments when they are contracted by the homeowner directly and paid by the homeowner directly. The tight grip that the WSIB has over their lives, including all of their subtrades, including if they do commercial work, is almost totally unavoidable.

September 24, 2013 News

Reader's Post of the Week: Just who exactly IS a "legitimate" contractor?

by Steve Payne

“When government gets so bloated from internal decay, I would say the “legitimate” contractors are the ones you won’t find on government radars, provided that they are still offering the end-user a “legitimately” high quality product,” writes Canadian Contractor reader Chris Langman.

September 17, 2013 News

Surety bonds: how to best position your construction company

by Steve Payne

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August 28, 2013 Voice

What’s safer to ride: A one wheel or a two wheel bike?

by Alec Caldwell

If you’ve cancelled your 24 hour sickness and accident insurance policies because you’ve been forced to pay a lot more for Ontario WSIB, you are now riding a one- or two-wheel bike, instead of having the stability of being in a four-wheel truck. As a contractor, you need to think about the risk(s) you are exposing yourself to with inadequate insurance!

August 28, 2013 Voice

What's safer to ride: A one wheel or a two wheel bike?

by Alec Caldwell

If you’ve cancelled your 24 hour sickness and accident insurance policies because you’ve been forced to pay a lot more for Ontario WSIB, you are now riding a one- or two-wheel bike, instead of having the stability of being in a four-wheel truck. As a contractor, you need to think about the risk(s) you are exposing yourself to with inadequate insurance!

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.

August 20, 2013 Voice

Contractors beware: Mortgage insurance claims can be denied

by Alec Caldwell

CBC’s consumer protection show Marketplace recently ran an episode about how some mortgage insurance plans will not pay out in certain circumstances that many purchasers are unaware of.