One rule doesn't always apply for every situation.

Published by Ben on April 14, 2015

Tags: canadian contractor, mike holmes

I have been quoted in the latest issue of Canadian Contractor -Mar Apr 2015 Page 12 ( ) . The story shows responses from several contractors accross Canada on an article Mike Holmes wrote in the National Post Jan 27th. In it he states 'No Good Contractor Needs More Than 10% To Start A Job'. 

The majority of responses point out that Mike Holmes is a celebrity television host first and formost, and secondly was a contractor that went out of business himself, and thirdly has admitted to doing unlicensed electrical work on his own projects. This brings into question wether he has the credability to make such claims.

Mike Holmes has made a name for himself by focusing on the 'bad contractors' and 'renovations that took a turn for the worst' in TV shows that are largly scripted like most of the Home Improvement shows out there. And by no means is this the norm but as we all know - Headlines, in a way, are what mislead you because bad news is a headline, and gradual improvement is not. So he gets the stage and he has used it to focus on the bad news because that is what sells.

Back in the real world neither the home owners or contractors feel they should expose themselves to unnecessary risks and this makes it something they both negotiate to limit their liablity. Contractors take on a lot of risks not knowing whether a home owner or project will go sour were as a home owner needs to do their due diligence to ensure they are not unduly exposed either. 

Contractors invest a lot of time prior to starting a project and order custom made materials prior to delivery that don't fit any other home, so they need to at least cover the costs they encure to that point which by no stretch of the imagination is 10%. Home owners on the other hand need to check references with other clients or suppliers and ask for copies of up to date licenses, bonds and insurance etc to ensure their contractor is legitimate.

In my reponse I quote an old saying 'A contract is a liability until it is complete' adding, for both parties. There is no 'One Size Fits All' here, at the end of the day it is about trust and if after you do your homework you don't have that you may want to look elsewhere. 




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