Protecting homeowners when hiring contractors
A day after a man fell to his death while cleaning eavestroughs in Barrie, there are new questions for homeowners wanting to hire contractors.
“A lot of people talk about members of their own families falling off roofs, people are just greatful to someone else do it,” says Solon Hatzimatis.
Hatzimatis owns Bright Choice Windows and Eavestrough Cleaning and for more than a decade has been fully certified and insured to work on roof tops. He says when he tells people how much he charges, some haggle with him saying they can get a neighbourhood handyman to do the work much cheaper.
“It’s a dangerous job right, up on the ladder and trying to stay safe on your feet; we don’t haggle too much with stuff like that. It’s a matter of just doing the job and doing it safely.”
Peter Gill is an insurance broker who says hiring an uninsured contractor to work on your roof could be costly; if they were injured or killed the homeowner could be liable.
“As a homeowner you don’t want to let at contractor on your property unless they have insurance.”
Industrial Safety Trainers is a company that offers certified courses on how to safely work on ladders and with heights. Tammy Lawrence says hiring an insured contractor is essential.
“As a homeowner, if you want to go one step farther ask them if you can take a look at their health and safety policy and program or for safety talks available,” says Tammy Lawrence with Industrial Safety Trainers.
Homeowners face a big responsibility when hiring anyone to work on their home and Stephanie Neville says one of the most valuable tools you can use is the contractor’s work history.
“I think references are crucial, you want someone you can depend on instead of someone who just comes knocking on the door.”