What Type of Contractor Do You Need?

Finding the right professional contractor for your project is important. It helps ensure your renovation project will be completed to your satisfaction, while providing you with confidence throughout the process.  Hiring someone who ‘does business the right way’ protects you and your family from unnecessary risks. 

This section helps you determine what type of contractor you need, how to find them, how to determine if they do business ‘the right way’, and how to get to the point where you and your contractor are ready to sign a contract and begin work on your renovation project.

Types of Contractors

There are a number of different types of contract services available to homeowners wanting to renovate, so it’s important to determine what type best suits your situation.

Extensive Home Renovation

For large or extensive projects, additions, or a combination of repairs and renovations, you may want a professional renovator to serve as general contractor, organizing and taking responsibility for all aspects of the project, including design, sub-contracting tradespeople, managing permits and inspections, and obtaining building products and materials.

Specific Room Renovations

For renovating specific areas such as the kitchen or bathroom, you may want a specialty contractor. Many kitchen and bathroom specialty firms provide design services and either manufacture or sell the products they install. Renovation contractors can also handle this type of project.


Large national ‘big box’ building product retailers offer convenient contract installation services for many of the products they sell, such as roofing, windows, flooring and more.  Contract installation allows you to deal directly with the retailer for all aspects of the work and payment – the retailer provides the qualified tradespeople, and warrants their work.  Retailers that provide contract installation services generally follow the procedures recommended by Get it in Writing! such as verified insurance and Workers Compensation coverage to protect you from unnecessary risks – be sure to ask about this.

Tradespeople such as roofers, masons and carpenters can also be hired directly by you, but you will have to find these people and manage the contracting process yourself.


Electrical, Mechanical, Heating, Plumbing Repair

Trade contractors specializing in each of these areas are likely best suited to your needs. Many utility companies offer repair services for heating and cooling systems, which can make the process simpler. Most provinces require licensing of trade contractors in their area of specialization.