Read reviews before you hire

Read homeowner reviews and get informed before you hire.
Share your stories to help us keep contractors accountable.

  •    Feb 13, 2015
  •   0 Comments
  • Posted in Uncategorized

  • Posted by Andrea O

Our Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Forget long-stem roses and chocolates!

Get your Valentine something they’ll appreciate year-round. Here are some truly thoughtful and creative gift ideas for your sweetheart!

1. Handyman Services: Kill the honey-do list.
friendly handyman in new house

2. Junk Removal: What’s more romantic then giving up something for the one you love?

Box of unwanted stuff close up

3. Closet Organization: Take care of something you’ve been planning to do every weekend for the last five years.
modern closet 3d rendering

4. A Hot Tub: This is actually pretty romantic, especially if it helps joint and muscle pain.
Man having massage in  hot tub spa.

  •    Feb 2, 2015
  •   7 Comments
  • Posted in Best of Awards

  • Posted by Andrea O

Best of 2014 Winners

We have travelled across Canada to award the country’s best home improvement companies. Tonight we are wrapping up awards season in Toronto. This is our seventh year awarding contractors who have done outstanding work, based on homeowner reviews.

Check out the winners in your region!

Toronto’s Best of 2014 award recipients:

AMI Repair Service Inc
SB HARDWOOD STAIRS & FLOORING
Gardens in the City Inc.
Cosmopolitan Construction
Star Tech Stucco
All Canadian Self Storage
TILESTARS
Arby Cartage
Solutions Electrical
Sonoma Contracting
DrainRooter Plumbing
Rovimat Construction Ltd
Sky – Blinds & Shades
Otto’s Masonry
Multiple Choice Flooring
Brighten Life Construction Cleaning Inc.
Infinity Gutter
Pro-Land Landscape Construction Inc
Navicon
Perfecto Painting & Renovation
Potlight Expert
Big Ben’s Junk Removal
NK Windows and Eaves
RLC Electric
A-Line General Contractors (Roofing Services)
Open Sesame
PianoInside
Skilled Taper
Quick Bins Disposal Canada Inc.
Gas Fireplace Services & Repairs
FFR Contracting
nighthawk chimney sweep & service
Family Comfort
SKY Kitchen Cabinets Ltd
Locksmith Care
416-SO-CLEAN
Rent-a-Son
Public Plumbing in GTA – 416-556-5658
Clarke Basement Systems
Capps Duct Cleaning Services Inc
Elite Designed Concrete Inc.
Toronto Decks and Fence by BinSolutions
Templar Mould / Asbestos Analysis and Removal
HOME EXTERIOR ALUMINUM
Inch By Inch Inspections, Mold Detection and Removal
Bravehart Building Design & Build
David R. Smith Design
The Home Cleaning Team
Toronto Home Theater
Fortress Windows & Doors
Drape Master
Mike’s Renovations
theaudioguy.ca
McDermott Plastering
Restoration 1 Toronto West & Etobicoke
Envirotech Insulation & Electrical Services
Rockwell Masonry
Daryl Johnson Masonry
Matthew Tormey Design and Woodworking
Dufferin Iron & Railings
M3 Design Group
Raywal Cabinets
Victory Locks Ltd
Cuvers
DMS Home Services
YORK HOME IMPROVEMENT SUPPLIES
Cargo Cabbie Professional Movers
Nanique Interiors
SafeTech Alarm Systems and Video Surveillance
The Duct Cleaning Specialists
Spring Home Heating & Cooling Systems Inc
The Appliance Guy
Convertible Heating and Air Conditioning
GasGuys.ca Inc.
City 1 Roof Works
A Marco Plumbing Ltd.
Canadian Roofing Company Ltd.
Reliable Home Comfort
Firemen Movers
NewRidge Refinishing Group
The Home Improvement People
AAA Gates Wildlife Control
Pest Solution Services – Bed Bugs Specialist
AC Electrical Contractors Ltd.
TJ. Fine Upholstering
Turnbull Masonry
All County Aluminum
ARCHITALCAN Design, Inc.
LS Kitchen Specialist
ColourWorks Painting
Five Star Moulding Company
Amosite
The drapery shop
Techno Kitchen Refacing
Fujitech Technologies Inc.
Smith Metal Works
Clean Cut Painting and Decorating Corp.
Unique Custom Moldings and Trim
Invision Hardwood & Decor
Dan The Drawer Man
Metro Chimney Inc
Roadrunner Bins Inc
ExpressRooter Plumbing
Kris’s Painting – Kris the painter
Pro Concrete & Paving Ltd
Beaver Brothers Decks inc.
Easy Flip Garage Doors Inc.
fixitgary.com
Nu-Site Contractors Ltd
JADE GRANITE & QUARTZ
Lindy Consulting Limited, Architect
Falco Landscape Design
Captain Electric
SEAL TECH INC
Lampert Renovations & Bathliners
Sosna Inc
The Floor Shop
Wood Specialties
Pretty Handy Guy
Clean Cut Design & Build Inc.
ARCHITECTURAL IRON WORKS
Oakville Kitchen Designers
Floors Direct North
Expert Crown Moulding
Watchtower Interiors Inc.
Millard Bautista Designs
So Green Canada (Landscape design / Build)
Lighting Innovation & Design Inc.
AtlasCare
Just Deck It
Crowning Touch Trim
Victorious Carpet Installation & Repair Services
Easy Access Garage Doors
Pro Appliance Ltd.
Maret’s Quality Home Cleaning
Ambia Windows and Doors Inc.
AccuServ Heating and Air Conditioning
Lusso Glass
Rileys Tree Services Inc.
Milorad Tiling
Mr. Fix It Handyman Service
Red Robin Masonry
Albvision Windows and Doors
David Audio & Video Installations
Valentini Kitchens
Scott’s Painting Services
heptagon
Double Tree Landscaping Inc.
Well Done BBQs
Green Maple Home Renovations
Paint Core Finishes
Foam Comfort Inc.
Davis & Davis Renovations
Janice Lindsay – Pink, Colour + Design
Skywire Security and Surveillance
IKEA Kitchen Installation
Ontario Electronics Service
Damski Masonry
Landscape Toronto
Trevor’s Drywall and Taping Services
ProHanging
snap pest control
M Scott Home Improvements
Mr. Handyman of Richmond Hill, Vaughan, and Markham
Mister Plumber
Green Valley Irrigation Ltd.
New Century Maids
Straight Up Masonry
ForeverStoneDesign Inc.
The Chimney Company Inc.
A. HARRY’S FURNITURE REFINISHERS INC.
Advanced Plumbing
Kasa Bella
Carpet Selections
Mega City Roofing Inc
Eureka Assembly & Installation Inc.
Amazing Results
AquaDry Technologies
Reach Restoration, Inc.
Newkitchentoronto.ca
PC Service On Site
Bromley Contracting Inc Co Mr Stucco
Wonder Woods Flooring
Fine Finishes Custom Design Solutions
The Tub Guys
Zaid Moving
Grand Alarms
HotWire Electric-All 416-553-5533
Mr Rooter Plumbing
The Reno Coach
Mr Rooter Plumbing of Mississauga ON
AllMax Home Inspection
Art Metal Workshop Inc.
Junk It!
Ac Appliance Repair
Derek’s Tree Service INC
IKEA Furniture Assembly Service
Doors and More Frameless Shower Applications
Maple Window & Eaves Cleaning Inc.
Master Drain & Water Works 416-910-3599
Choice Leather Furniture
Vorob Craft Cabinetry
Toronto Tree Removal
A1 Quality Chimney Cleaning & Repair
A&F Duct Cleaning
Button’s Heating Inc.
First Choice Fence
Black Forest Woodworking
The Custom Deck Company
Avenue Road Masonry
The Expert Touch Interiors
Integrity Contracting
Maple Carpet Care Ltd
Hall Developments

Peel/Halton/Wentworth’s Best of 2014 award recipients:

Arby Cartage
Milton Hardwood Floors
Pop-A-Lock of Halton
On The Level Home Renos
Heart’s Content Gardens
True North Home Services
rapid pest control
Potlight Expert
What Wood U Like
Family Comfort
TJ”S FIREPLACES AND GAS SERVICES
c-clear window cleaning
RCC Waterproofing
Real Home Inspections Ontario
Public Plumbing in GTA – 416-556-5658
416-SO-CLEAN
Rockwell Masonry
Raywal Cabinets
Natik Painting
Beverley Hills Home Improvements
Action Appliance Sales & Service Inc.
Techno Kitchen Refacing
The Duct Cleaning Specialists
NewRidge Refinishing Group
Easy Flip Garage Doors Inc.
Convertible Heating and Air Conditioning
Oakville Kitchen Designers
Five Star Moulding Company
Firemen Movers
ARCHITECTURAL IRON WORKS
City 1 Roof Works
Zen Construction
Studio Linea Home Staging and Redesign
Purisoft Water Solutions
Rightway Roofing
Orsan Air Services
Home-Pro Electric Inc
Green Maple Home Renovations
Mr. Fix It Handyman Service
Babus Electric
Innovative Contracting & Maintenance
New Steel Roofers
Amazing Results
New Century Maids
Ac Appliance Repair
Art Metal Workshop Inc.
Mr Rooter Plumbing of Mississauga ON
The Expert Touch Interiors
Doors and More Frameless Shower Applications
Mr Rooter of the Golden Horseshoe
Rankin Home Inspection

Durham’s Best of 2014 award recipients:

Paintastic
Kitchen Court
BURKLEY CUSTOM UPHOLSTERY
Rand Electric
MV Drywall
Ideal Stairs
Infinity Gutter
Envirotech Insulation & Electrical Services
Restoration 1 Durham
Clarke Basement Systems
The Cutting Edge Roofing
Captain Electric
A Marco Plumbing Ltd.
JADE GRANITE & QUARTZ
The Duct Cleaning Specialists
Emmons Electric
Spring Home Heating & Cooling Systems Inc
NewRidge Refinishing Group
fixitgary.com
Convertible Heating and Air Conditioning
Reliable Home Comfort
Distinctive Designs Landscaping
Mason Restoration
Apex Glass & Mirror
AAA Gates Wildlife Control
Durham Plumbing
Fyfe’s Roofing
Crowning Touch Trim
All-Pro Landscaping & Carpentry Ltd.
Bath Revival
Prestige Carpet Cleaning
Complete Window Decor
Double Diamond Duct Cleaning
Taylor Landscape Construction
Button’s Heating Inc.
Natural Choice Heating & Cooling
True North Eavestroughing
AllMax Home Inspection
TWG Landscaping & Property Maintenance Inc.
MacLeans Custom Kitchens

Eastern Ontario’s Best of 2014 award recipients:

Appliance Surgeons
Eaves Experts Ottawa
ABC Appliance Service
Saley’s Custom Woodworking
Safari Plumbing … The White Glove Plumber(TM)
Mike Shurben Heating Ltd.
Canadian Water Inspection Services
Probitas Plumbing
Old World Craftsmanship
Bats Canada Inc
Dr. Clean Air
Hills & Valley Water Systems
sunrise roofing
Bulgari Paving
Penta Plumbing
J. Lamarche Landscaping
WOW 1 DAY PAINTING
Reliable Home Environment
Ring Electric
Dave Marcotte Foundations
DRAINPRO
Danco Electrical Services Ltd
Fireplace West
Blu Dot Interiors
Rainsoft of Ottawa -Eternally Pure Water Systems
Custom Roofing Ltd.
Boiserie Sebo Woodwork
Krumpers Solar Blinds
Capital Junk
Best Price Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning
Salter Electric
Remember Me Roofing Inc.
Verdun Doors & Windows
OVMF
Bronson Johnson Seamless Eavestroughs
Sarah Kidder Design

Calgary’s Best of 2014 award recipients:

Bull Tough Flooring Ltd
Stampede Overhead Doors Ltd.
A T A Appliance Services
above all overhead doors ltd
Alpine Services
Blackstone Tub Refinishers
Calgary Carpet Restretch
Eisses Windows
Frontline Home Inspections
Interiors With Elegance Inc
Laporte Custom Stone Inc.
Rodex Enterprises Corp.
Sterling Exteriors Inc.
Stone Consulting Group Inc.
Strand Home Inspections Inc
The Gutter Patrol
Impact Zone
Johnston Glass Ltd
Lakeview Floors
Reliance Home Comfort
Weather Pro Windows and Doors inc
24/7 Electric
A Better Way Plumbing Ltd.
Abacus Landscaping Ltd
Academy Ceramic Tile
Appliance Service Centre
Attic Pros Insulation Services
Boulevard Exteriors
Copper Brook
Diamond Home Inspection
Distinct Heating & Cooling
Ekko Cabinetry
Elite Trade Painting (Calgary)
Enviro Surface Removers Inc
Get Fresh Carpet Cleaning
Great Dane Electric
Handyman Connection Calgary
Hatton’s Hardwood Floors Inc
Helene’s Siding Inc.
Hubbard Roofing & Exteriors Inc.
Jamison Furnace LTD
MAXgreen Windows and Doors Ltd.
Mega Roofing & Exteriors Inc
MoldPro inc.
Nu-Way Floor Fashions Ltd
Roof Right Solutions
SIS Supply Install Services
smartSPACE
Sundeck Solutions Inc.
The Honest Electrician Inc.
The Mudd Monkey
The Pine Nuts Woodworking and Renovations Ltd.
Trademark Renovations ltd
United Roofing
Vacuum Specialists
WallNuts (Formerly ValuePro)
Western Granite & Stone Ltd
Williams HVAC
EuroStar windows and doors INC.
Highland Moving & Storage Ltd. | Starline Overseas Moving
United Roofing
Weather Pro Windows and Doors inc
Day & Knight Plumbing & Heating Ltd.
Marvellous Movers Ltd.

Vancouver’s Best of 2014 award recipients:

Acme Home Inspections
Bulldawg drywall
Celsky Vinyl Sundecks & Railings
Electra Technologies
Miller Plumbing and Drainage Ltd.
Andy’s Appliance & Refrigeration
AAA SUPREME CLEANING
THE Home Inspection Co
Eclipse Painting and Decorating
Imagine Maintenance Ltd.
Mcloughlin Construction Ltd
911 Restoration of Vancouver
Cloverdale Moving and Van-Lines
A & Wes Tile
A Glass Act Window Cleaners & Building Maintenance Ltd.
Adanac Roofing and Gutters
Alan O’Rourke Construction
Benchmark Painting Ltd.
Busy Boys Roofing Ltd
Cedar Coast Fence Ltd
Centra Windows, Exteriors, Restorations – Okanagan
Cloverdale Moving and Van-Lines
Coast Mountain Roof Ltd.
Crucial Roof Services Ltd
Delfabulous Home Improvements Inc.
design happens
EuroLine Windows Inc
Handyman2Go
Hot Electric
J. Murphy’s Contracting
Joyce Heating Service Ltd
Kitchen Makeovers
Landmark Roofing Ltd
Meadow Ridge Plumbing & Gas
Millwall Roofing Ltd
Modus Enterprises
Monkey Tree Services
Networx Windows, Doors, Exteriors
Newtech Appliance Repair & Refrigeration
North Shore Stone Works
Nu-Phase Electric Ltd
Pest Maven
Pure Luxe Painting
Quality One Home Services
Raincity moving and storage Ltd.
Sean Moss Home and Mold Inspections
Silverback Electric
Sunrise Painting & Stucco Ltd
Super Rooter
Transformations Landscaping
Triple R Construction Inc.
Westmount Heating
GVA Plumbing & Heating Ltd.

Edmonton’s Best of 2014 award recipients:

Do It Right Heating & AC LTD.
Green Thumb Landscaping
Ironclad Mechanical
Ryalz Tree Care Inc
Clean air solutions Ltd.
Heights Residential
Nerds2You
River Valley Final Grading
Acclaimed! Heating, Cooling & Furnace Cleaning
Amsteam Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning
Budget Blinds Edmonton & St. Albert
Butler Plumbing Heating & Gasfitting Ltd
Capitall Exterior Solutions / Window and Door Clearance Centre
Dan’s Carpet & Upholstery CleaningEdmonton
Fair and Square Roofing Inc
Generation Contracting Inc
Golden West Exteriors
GreenFox Windows & Doors
Harmcor Plumbing & Heating Ltd
JTL Alarm & Surveillance
Nomad Roofing
Recoveryworx Roofing
Robart Electrical Services Ltd
Picture Perfect Flooring
REI – Real Estate Inspections

A big congratulations to all the winners! We will continue announcing this year’s Best of recipients as we hand out the awards.

  •    Jan 20, 2015
  •   6 Comments
  • Posted in Uncategorized

  • Posted by Andrea O

A message to owners of home improvement businesses:

BOA-2

Our HomeStars Best of Awards (BOA) were launched seven years ago to recognize top-rated companies that we believe are the most trustworthy and have been recognized for great work by validated homeowners. We know that people take note of the Best of Awards badge and that it informs their hiring decisions. As this award has grown, HomeStars continues to improve the process by which we select our winners.

Recent events surrounding the bankruptcy of a previous BOA winner has triggered some changes to how we decide who wins. We have implemented new, more rigorous checks to ensure authenticity of reviews. As a result of these new checks, we are confident the BOA winners for 2014 will be our most trustworthy group of winners yet. In addition, we have applied these new checks to previous year winners and in rare cases the we have taken the difficult step of revoking the award from a few BOA winners from previous years.

We will not be communicating our enhanced checks to anyone. We will also be rolling out further changes to our review moderation processes later this year, as these learnings will inform all activities on the site.

Every year our team and I get contacted by companies asking why they did not win. We will not answer these questions. HomeStars has a rigorous process for validating reviews, and that is not something shared with anyone, including most of our own employees.

In closing, the Best of Award is the HomeStars “seal of approval”. As Founder of the company, my first priority is that we only select winners we believe have earned it. We also reserve the right to revoke past awards at any time, without notice, if we suspect fraudulent activity. We want to ensure all winners serve each homeowner to the best of their ability and in the most professional way possible.

I wish you and your business a prosperous 2015.

Nancy Peterson
Founder & CEO
HomeStars

  •    Jan 9, 2015
  •   2 Comments
  • Posted in Uncategorized

  • Posted by Andrea O

Update to Assisted Reviews (aka Add a Review) 

Last week, HomeStars was referenced in Toronto media after a home renovation company (GarCon Building Group) went bankrupt. Concerns were raised about the validity of some of this company’s reviews on HomeStars, in particular those published using our assisted review tool.

Assisted reviews are designed to help contractors get homeowner reviews for the work they’ve completed. Assisted reviews account for eight per cent of the reviews on our site.

We have listened to your feedback and made changes, such as flagging all assisted reviews across the site. The flag is a green icon that reads “Assisted Review” and when it is clicked, this explanation appears:

Pasted image at 2015_01_09 11_07 AM

We’re working hard to ensure the integrity of reviews on HomeStars by continuing to invest in automated fraud-detection systems. Our review team carefully reads every review to verify its authenticity before it is published. We also listen to members of our community to help us remove suspicious reviews.

To learn more about how we check reviews please visit the following:

Review Guidelines

Review Approval Process

Reading reviews is part of the research process, but we urge homeowners to check references diligently before they hire. Hiring well will save you time and money and deliver the best results.

Homeowner inquires can be sent to contact@homestars.com and media inquires can be sent to press@homestars.com.

  •    Dec 23, 2014
  •   0 Comments
  • Posted in Uncategorized

  • Posted by Andrea O

Happy Holidays from HomeStars

xmas2014-maintenance

HomeStars would like to wish you and your family a happy and safe holiday.

Our website will be shutdown for maintenance December 27th and 28th. Over the holiday season our offices will be closed from December 24th – January 2nd. During this time there may be a delay in review moderation and email response times.

We thank you for a wonderful 2014 and look forward to hearing from you in the New Year!

  •    Dec 2, 2014
  •   0 Comments
  • Posted in What's New!

  • Posted by Andrea O

Best of 2014 – Are you one of the best?

As we approach the holiday season and the end of the year, it signifies another annual time of celebration, the HomeStars Inc. Best of Awards season!!!

Each year, hundreds of companies across Canada are celebrated as HomeStars’s Best and we are excited that the announcements of who was the best in 2014 are just around the corner.

Qualification for the 2014 Best of Awards is based on the following criteria:

A company must have received a minimum of five reviews between January 1st – December 31st, 2014. 

Geographic winners are based on the location of the homeowner (where the work was done), not on the location of the company.

Winners are determined based on our proprietary ‘Best of Award’ Reputation Rank algorithm, which uses a number of different factors (more than 15) each uniquely weighted.  It’s more than simply number of reviews and the score.

NOTE:  Category search results pages are in no way connected to the Best of Awards.

NEW THINGS FOR 2014 THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

In order to drive a higher level in trust and value in our Best of Awards we will be recognizing our Best of Companies for all the services they provide versus for one specific category.  The goal of our Best of Awards is to provide homeowners with an indication of which companies are the best, and this change gets us closer to doing that.

After December 15th, 2014 assisted reviews WILL NOT COUNT towards the Best of 2014 calculation.  Only approved reviews added organically (directly to the site) by homeowners will be counted after this date until the deadline on December 31st at midnight PST.

We will announce the winners the week of January 19th, 2015. Best of Awards event info for the winners across Canada will follow shortly after that.

As always, if you have any Best of questions, please contact us at bestof2014@homestars.com.

Happy Best of Awards Season and good luck to all!

The One of a Kind Show 2014 – Want to Go?

If you’ve got a long list of people to buy gifts for this December but aren’t in the mood for the mall or online shopping, the One of a Kind Show is for you! It’s the largest consumer craft show in North America, featuring the works of over 800 exhibitors.

The One of a Kind Show runs until Sunday, December 7 and HomeStars is giving away tickets!

IMG_0232

This is a great place to purchase unique and thoughtful gifts. While the winter edition of the One of a Kind Show is typically considered a Christmas show, most of the items for sale aren’t holiday themed. Though there are splashes of Christmas decorations at the show most items can be used year round and they truly vary.

Here are a few eye-catching exhibits from the show:

IMG_0225

IMG_0316

IMG_0245

Sylvain Tremblay

La Glasserie

La Glasserie

TinHouse Designs

TinHouse Designs

TinHouse Designs

TinHouse Designs

All through the House

All through the House

foutu tissu

foutu tissu

Pheylonian Bee Works

Pheylonian Bee Works

Tania Gleave

Tania Gleave

reCYCLEr

reCYCLEr

Stinson Studios

Stinson Studios

Daniel Pollack Accessories

Daniel Pollack Accessories

  •    Oct 29, 2014
  •   1 Comment
  • Posted in Uncategorized

  • Posted by Andrea O

Tuckpointing 101

Tuckpointing is a trade many people are unfamiliar with until they need it done on their house.

It involves repairing the worn out mortar between the bricks of your house and it is the restoration aspect of the masonry trade. Not every masonry company is specialized in tuckpointing, so you need to make sure you hire someone who is an expert at it in order to get the best results.

Joe Hill from A&A Masonry is a tuckpointing expert, and his speciality is colour matching, a key indicator of whether or not tuckpointing has been done right.  In our latest video he shows us the tell-tale signs you need tuckpointing done and walks us through the steps of the process.

Some signs you need tuckpointing:

  • Deeply recessed mortar joints, meaning 8 to 10 mm past the surface of the bricks
  • Stress cracks are incredibly common — usually above doors and above and below windows
  • Deeps holes, in the mortar

Not getting tuckpointing done on them can lead to:

  • Water entering your home
  • Insects getting inside the house
  • Wasps building nests between the layers of the bricks
  • The face of the brick can pop right off
  • Water sits in the cracks of the bricks and will rot them, this could lead to needing the bricks replaced, which is a lot more costly down the road

Tuckpointing Steps:

1. First the joint is removed. This is the line of mortar between the bricks, it is removed either with a grinder, saw or hammer and chisel.

2. Then a tuckpointing bag (similar to an icing bag you’d use on a cake) is used to fill in the mortar joint.

3. You must then wait for the mortar to set, how long it takes depends on the weather, and how much water the bricks have absorbed over the years. Stone absorbs zero water and takes a lot longer to dry. Clay bricks absorb the moisture quicker unless they’ve been saturated with water for years, which means the setting process could take longer.

4. A finishing tool is then used to shape the joint. Most joints get a concave finish. Other common finishes are v-shaped or flush with the brick.

5. Finally, the bricks are brushed off with a mason’s brush.

Colour Matching

The trickiest part of tuckpointing is matching the colour of the new mortar to the original mortar on the rest of the house. Many factors determine the colour: how deep the mortar is in the wall, how hot it is outside, how long it takes the colour to set (it tends to lighten up). Within a couple weeks you can see the final colour of the mortar and when tuckpointing is done properly it shouldn’t stand out from the rest of the wall. Ask to see the contractor’s portfolio in order to determine his ability to colour match and ask to see houses they’ve done in the neighbourhood – this will be the best indicator of the mason’s skill.

Pricing guide:

  • Get multiple quotes and don’t go with the lowest one
  • 90% of what you are paying for is the skill of the mason as the material cost itself is low
  • The main factor in determining price is access, if you have to put up scaffolding on a three-storey house to get to a small patch on the chimney, it’s going to cost more than a bigger patch on ground level
  • The cost doesn’t go by square footage because a lot can be wrong with one small area of a wall

Shingle Warranties 101

Shingle warranties can often be confusing and come with many stipulations. Danny Areia from City 1 Roof Works has shared the basics  homeowners should know about warranties on asphalt shingles.

1)   Do you research before picking a shingle:

  • Make sure you know about the manufacturer of the shingle and the limitations on the warranty
  • Manufacturers have different limitations on their warranties, for example some will only cover claims resulting in leaks and not esthetical issues
  • A good manufacturer covers esthetics and defects

2)   In order for your warranty to be fulfilled:

  • The roof must be installed according to the installation procedures, which go well beyond the building code
  • The manufacturer must also certify the installers to check if your roofer is certified go to the manufacturers website for a list of certified installers

3)   A 50-year shingle does not mean 50-years of coverage 

  • Every warranty has a prorated and non-prorated period
  • Prorated: all labour and material costs on all repairs and replacements are completely covered by the manufacturer
  • Non- prorated: Typically starts 10 or 20 years after your roof is installed depending on your warranty
  • The amount of coverage you receive during the non-prorated period depends on the value of your roof, which depreciates over time

4)   Basics that will help ensure your warranty holds up:

  • Proper attic ventilation that meets manufacturer code requirements (otherwise your warranty could be cut in half)
  • Standard nails, an inch and a quarter must be used
  • Make sure when your shingles are being replaced the original ones are removed
  • The plywood on your roof deck must be inspected to ensure it has a clean, smooth and solid surface, suitable for installing a new roof on
  • Ice and water shield:
    • One of the first underlayments applied on top of your roof deck
    • A rubberized layer with a silicon-based adhesive that sticks to the roof
    • Applied to areas of the roof more prone to water leakage like the valleys, the eaves, chimneys and skylights
    • Beware a lot of companies skip this essential step

5) Remember you can’t be on the roof yourself making sure the job is done right!

  • Make sure you do your research before you hire someone for the job!
  • Check out our post below for a checklist of items to keep in mind when hiring someone for the job

Roofing 101

The roofing industry is largely unregulated so homeowners must be vigilant when choosing a company. Gordon Bailey from Academia Roofing & Attics offers up a checklist of items homeowners should keep in mind when hiring someone for the job.

1)   Don’t hire if they haven’t looked in your attic

  • A good roofer will check your attic for adequate insulation, ventilation and wants to see that the bathroom fans are hooked up and venting properly
  • They will check for issues with condensation and mold that can be addressed while a new roof is being installed

2)  Addressing issues with mold and condensation

  • Water stains that might be evident in your soffits, on your walls, on your interior ceilings, are all telltale sign that there is an issue needing to be resolved to prevent future problems with mold or condensation
  • If you have any signs of mold in your attic a good roofer will make you aware of it and find you solution that will help ensure it doesn’t come back.

3)   New gutters and eavestroughing go on AFTER your new roof

  • If you put in new gutters and/or eavestroughs before your new roof they will get damaged during the roof install
  • Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise

4)   Expertise is key

  • Every project needs a strong leader
  • Their role is to educate, train, co-ordinate and facilitate the project
  • Each stage has to be reviewed and checked by the leader on-site

5)   A metal expert is critical

  • Every good company has a metal expert on staff or a relationship with one to help complete their projects
  • The metal expert does all the flashings on the job and also works in the shop
  • They are the backbone of most companies because they are able to make a really good quality job 100 per cent finished.

6)   Murphy’s Law

  • Murphy was actually a contractor, and as the old adage goes, anything that can go wrong will go wrong
  • Because of this, Bailey suggests asking for references from customers who were originally unhappy and were made happy in the end

 

In this week's newsletter: True Stories and New Promotions!