Canadian Contractor

Voices

February 19, 2020 Voice

Opinion: It’s like maggots on decaying corpses

by Rob Blackstien

Last week, we ran a press release from Skills Ontario that aimed to debunk myths about skilled trades. Well, Questo — as he is wont to do — took exception to this list of myths, arguing that the agency missed

February 18, 2020 Voice

I am terrified…

by Rob Blackstien

Several years back, reader Dean Kadikoff wondered when Canada started turning into a communist dictatorship based on what happened to a drywaller thanks to the WSIB. Every couple of years, it seems this discussion thread is revitalized and, thanks to

February 13, 2020 Voice

Nobody rips me off

by Rob Blackstien

We recently ran a column by Steve Ryan in which he discussed differentiating how you feel about regulatory issues and how you present that information to a customer — and what a huge difference that can make from a perception

February 13, 2020 Voice

This is not a new method

by Rob Blackstien

Mike revived the Straightforward Pricing discussion last week, and this opened the door to a very detailed explanation of the history of this method by Joe Gerolami: New idea? This method has been used since the early ’90s, however in

February 11, 2020 Voice

Murder is not the right strategy

by Rob Blackstien

Last week, we published an article about a contractor facing murder charges after one of his disgruntled customers went missing. We were curious how Contractor Nation dealt with such clients. Of this much we are sure: murder is not the

February 5, 2020 Voice

I don’t like the prices

by Rob Blackstien

Several years ago, we wrote an article about a new idea called “Straightforward Pricing,” which involved shifting from hourly rates to a price list with different tiers. Many contractors piped in over the years, but the thread had been dormant

February 5, 2020 Voice

Opinion: OCOT’s demise should be expedited by cobras and red ants

by Rob Blackstien

The ongoing saga of the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) continues this week with more vehemence. Last week, Mark Mitchell said the OCOT should die the painful death it deserves. Several readers agreed with this line of thinking, and few

February 5, 2020 Voice

It’s all a money grab! … Is that really the story you want to tell?

by canadiancontractor

By Steve Ryan We all have our list of regulatory obstacles and fees for which we see little or no corresponding benefit. This won’t be an essay to try to convince you otherwise. We will, however, argue against being too

January 30, 2020 Voice

Opinion: Let the OCOT die

by Rob Blackstien

A couple of weeks ago, Rick Hjelholt wrote in to express the opinion that the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) was not necessary. Mark Mitchell not only agreed, but he piled on with aplomb! I’m with Rick. Let the OCOT

January 29, 2020 Voice

Heat loss is a bigger issue in Canada

by Rob Blackstien

About a week and a half ago, we documented the issues that Claude Ladouceur was having with his heat pump. Well, Claude’s concerns caught the eye of Mark Mitchell, who offered up the following insights… Heat loss is much bigger

January 28, 2020 Voice

New public review of National Building Code includes energy efficiency

by canadiancontractor

By Casey Edge Codes Canada has announced a public review on changes to the National Building Code including seismic and energy efficiency from January 13, 2020 to March 13, 2020. These changes outline tiered energy performance levels for Part 9

January 23, 2020 Voice

Locked out of a job

by Rob Blackstien

About a week and a half ago, we documented the plight of Laurent in Ottawa, which was part of the ongoing issue of getting paid. Well, Contractor Nation has jumped all over this one. First, Paul Hood empathized… The story

January 23, 2020 Voice

Thrown to the wolves

by Rob Blackstien

As a contractor, it should be your goal to become the wolf to your clients. Yes, I know what you’re thinking: “why in the hell would I want to be a wolf?” That’s a natural reaction. After all, throughout history

January 21, 2020 Voice

Another bad heat pump experience

by Rob Blackstien

A couple of years ago, we wrote a piece about how climate control systems affected contractors. Well, it seems that Claude Ladouceur was digging through our archives, as over two years later, he’s piped in with his two cents, claiming

January 16, 2020 Voice

Opinion: Are unions really evil?

by Rob Blackstien

Our article in May about carpentry unions cracking down on the underground cash economy was the most commented upon Canadian Contractor post last year, and clearly, the discussion is not done yet. While many view unions as an agent of

January 16, 2020 Voice

Opinion: We do not need the OCOT

by Rob Blackstien

While RJ argued that the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) was a necessary evil, there are others that are as pleased as can be that the government opted to wind down the agency. For instance, Rick Hjelholt offered the following

January 14, 2020 Voice

Bathroom Reno Surprise

by Rob Blackstien

Our 2012 article about ensuring you get paid rings timeline if the endless stream of comments that has ensued from it is any indication. For instance, Ottawa-based Laurent recently filed the following story. Anyone have any advice about how he

December 19, 2019 Voice

RenoMark has its place

by Rob Blackstien

A couple of weeks ago, we wrote about RenoMark, and asked Contractor Nation for its opinion on this program. We received a couple of interesting responses: Richard Northey offered up the following: “RenoMark has its place in large cities. In