Canadian Contractor


May 13, 2015 News

CIBC poll has some good news and bad news for contractors

by Steve Payne

More Canadians say they will do some reno work on their homes this year (42 per cent) than last year (40 per cent). But budgets are down almost $3,000 compare with last year.

December 17, 2014 News

Toronto tree protection nonsense drives contractor crazy

by Steve Payne

A contractor emailed us the comical BS he recently had to go through, all because he wanted to build some porch stairs slightly within a “tree protection zone”

December 11, 2014 News

"A number of homes sold and occupied and not one single trade or supplier received a red cent."

by Steve Payne

Drywall contractor Sean Keane explains Ontario’s lien act, and how it contain loopholes that can make it very difficult for a sub trade to collect from a builder/developer.

November 27, 2014 News

How one roofing firm advertised their serious stupidity

by Alec Caldwell

The owner of the firm chewed me out. “Is this all you have to do with your time?” he asked angrily.

November 27, 2014 News

Send us your stories about your client's neighbours trying to shut down your project

by Steve Payne

Were you able to find a way to make nice with the angry neighbour, even getting them to back off and remove their formal objections to City Hall?

November 26, 2014 News

Price of average new ground-related house in GTA approaches $700k

by Steve Payne

Toronto’s land development and homebuilder organization, BILD, says that “ground related homes” (detached, semi-detached and town houses) have hit record high prices because of constrained land supply, an outdated planning approvals process and increased government fees.

October 20, 2014 Video

Excel Homes, Calgary, gives royal treatment to their 10,000th single family home customer

by Steve Payne

Barrett Budgell, a single father of 4-year old twin boys, didn’t know what a nice surprise was waiting for him when he bought the 10,000th single-family home constructed by Excel Homes, Calgary. The home, in Cochrane, Alta., came with some extra added features added just for Barrett and his kids – including $10,000 in education funding for the twins. Nice.

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 14, 2014 Voice

From pilot to contractor: (20) The clarity of hindsight: Design and Budget

by Robert Koci

John Bleasby’s dream home is 99 per cent finished and in this blog he begins his ‘post-mortem’: Looking at what he got right – and what he was challenged by – during this, his rookie build.

October 7, 2014 Voice

The renovation boom in Canada: the best is yet to come

by Alec Caldwell

Residential renovations and repairs have more than doubled, dollar-wise, since the late 1990s. And the boom is continuing, fuelled by an ageing population.

September 19, 2014 News

How shallow an actual home inspection really is

by Steve Payne

“I have found the inspections to be somewhat cursory in nature and, unless you are totally blind, for the most part a waste of money.”

July 30, 2014 News

Marketing and organization skills for professional painters

by Steve Payne

“You’re a painter, and a good one. Jobs are done correctly and customers are happy. So where is the business? And why are profit margins so low? If you’re asking these questions, it’s a good bet your marketing and organizational skills need upgrades.”

June 20, 2014 News

Strategies for competing with Fly-By-Nighters

by Steve Payne

Fly-By-Nighters, Trunk Slammers, Cash Guys, The Underground… whatever you call them, they are everywhere these days – trying to outbid you by 30 to 40 per cent. Here are some ways that established, above-board, legitimate contractors are competing with this hidden marketplace.

June 10, 2014 Voice

Alec Caldwell on today's Ontario election: Contractors need to vote!

by Alec Caldwell

“The Ontario College of Trades deserves to be called what it is: A union-controlled mob”

June 10, 2014 Voice

Alec Caldwell on today’s Ontario election: Contractors need to vote!

by Alec Caldwell

“The Ontario College of Trades deserves to be called what it is: A union-controlled mob”

March 21, 2014 News

(Only) a handful of projects have been affected by the combined effect of (our) new demolition bylaw

by Steve Payne

Montreal councillor Alex Norris, who has taken some heat for the city’s “Park Fees” on renovations deemed to be “complete demolitions” in the Le Plateau neighbourhood, has defended the legislation with a post on our site

March 14, 2014 News

It seems Montreal city councillor Alex Norris has a primordial fear of gentrification

by Steve Payne

A Montreal borough, Le Plateau-Mont Royal, is charging a “Parks Fee” of TEN PERCENT OF PROPERTY VALUES if the renovation is deemed to affect more than one-third of a house

March 5, 2014 News

A Montreal borough sticks its hands in renovators' pockets for five-figure "park fees"

by Steve Payne

The CBC reports that Plateau-Mont Royal, a Montreal borough, is asking renovating homeowners to pay a fee worth 10 per cent of the value of their land if they renovate more than 35 per cent of their properties.