• Go through the proper screening process before hiring a contractor. Look for reputable contractors, interview potential contractors, learn about their credentials and certifications, obtain at least three written bids or proposals from potential contractors, and follow-up with their references. See the FAQ, “Where can I find a qualified contractor that is right for the job, and what should I know before hiring them?
  • Avoid cash deals. A cash deal is when a contractor offers a lower price for their services in exchange for a cash payment and no written contract or receipts. Cash deals can result in incomplete or poor-quality work, accidents or injuries in your home, injured workers and no warranty.
  • Take precaution with door-to-door contractors. Be wary of businesses that rely on door-to-door sales because they may be unreliable and lack a permanent office location or phone number that you can call if problems occur with products or installations. Always insist on seeing the sales representative’s business card. Door-to-door sales contractors have also been implicated in fraudulent activities.
  • Have a written contract. Once you hire a contractor, make sure that the contract includes detailed instructions of the project and clear expectations for the contractors. Have it checked by your lawyer and carefully read the fine print. See the FAQ, “What should be included in my written contract with a contractor?
  • Follow up with your contractor throughout the building and renovation process. As a homeowner it’s your responsibility to make sure that the job is done on time and on budget.

For more information on fraud and deception, visit Natural Resources Canada’s Consumer Caution webpage.

Did you see a building science or energy efficiency term you did not understand? Check out our glossary.