Help! My Contractor Disappeared With My Deposit

“FLY BY NIGHT” OPERATORS

Recently we received a call from a distraught homeowner in tears because her “contractor” disappeared with her $2,000 deposit with a 10% finished bathroom in progress. The tub was removed - all she had was a toilet and vanity.

She was desperate. With just one bathroom and three family members, losing the bathtub and no contractor in sight, she was obviously in trouble. Luckily, we had an opening and were able to book her in immediately and she would have her “new” bathroom back in a couple of weeks.

But she was still out $2,000 for work completed worth $500 at best.

How common? We’ve had a dozen such calls past couple of years. Individuals advertise themselves as renovation contractors and show up at your door then disappear with your deposit usually $2,000 or more. Some never show up for work. Others start and disappear after a couple of days. The homeowner is left wondering what happened.

AVOIDING CONTRACTOR PITFALLS

Alberta has great consumer protection laws. The “Prepaid Contractor” license through Service Alberta and renewable every year for any business accepting up-front deposits. A $25,000 bond is also required with the license.

GETTING QUOTES – BASIC QUESTIONS BY PHONE

1. Does he have a Prepaid Contractor license?
2. Does he have at least $2 million business liability insurance?
3. How long in business?

No to any above – thank you but no thank you.

BUT MY BROTHER-IN-LAW IS AN HONEST GUY

Regardless of who the person is, they should have Prepaid Contractor licensing. No one is exempt.

PAPERWORK

1. Get a proper detailed quote with total cost and gst.
2. Quote and contract should have all company info: name, address, GST #, Bond #, contact information at the top.
3. The contract should have the Alberta “10 DAY RIGHT TO CANCEL” in large lettering – required by law.
4. 10% deposit is normal.
5. Progress payments for work completed is normal for larger longer-term projects.
6. Final payment accompanied by a detailed statement.

Following these guidelines will help eliminate unscrupulous operators and make your renovation project much more manageable and less stressful.

Calgary Bath & Home Renovations
Our Basic Packages
2pc Package $3,999
3pc Package $7,999
4pc Package $13,999
5pc Package $15,999

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403-560-0810