How to hire a contractor

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It is important to find a contractor that you are comfortable with, that you trust in your home, and that you are confident in meeting your projects requirements.

We do not provide a list of participating suppliers or endorse any service professionals.

These are some tips that may help you find a contractor that best fits your project’s needs.

Get 3 written quotes

We recommend getting 3 estimates/proposals in writing. Each estimate should include (as applicable):

  • cost of labour, equipment and materials (names, models, size, etc.);
  • total cost, including taxes and permit fees;
  • expected payment schedule, including clear holdback amounts (for example, for performance and builders’ lien) and timing of release;
  • estimated work start and completion dates;
  • a statement that the contractor carries liability insurance for property damage and Workers Compensation coverage;
  • warranties or guarantees;
  • what the contractor will clean up during the work and after completion;
  • your responsibilities and the contractor’s responsibilities;
  • a statement that the contractor will instruct you on the operation and maintenance of any equipment, and provide any required operation manuals.

Ask for referrals

  • Ask your friends, neighbours, and co-workers for contractor referrals. Find out who they have used in past projects and who they would recommend.
  • Search online for local contractors with great reviews or visit the Better Business Bureau.

Call references

Ask contractors to provide customer references that you can contact, or current job sites that you can visit.

Ask the reference:

  • about the contractor’s installation or service performance;
  • if the job was completed on time and within budget;
  • if there were any problems or delays (and if so, how they were handled and resolved).
  • about the level of service and quality after completion of the job (for example, resolution of questions and issues, warranty services).

Ask questions

Ask contractors questions so you feel more comfortable about the level of service and quality they can provide to your project.

Some examples include:

  • What form of agreement do you require before undertaking work in a home?
  • Do you carry property damage and other insurance coverage?
  • How many projects similar to this have you completed?
  • Are you and your staff members of a trade association or organization?
  • Aside from yourself, who will do the actual work (employees, sub-trades)?

Ask for a written contract

When you hire a contractor, ask for a written contract.

Before you sign the contract:

  • read it carefully to make sure all the estimate details are included;
  • review all terms and conditions and the fine print;
  • seek legal counsel when you are not sure about anything;
  • you and the contractor must initial any changes to the work or standard conditions on the contract.

Do not sign an incomplete contract and do not make a verbal agreement. A contract helps resolve disputes if the work is unsatisfactory or if there is any other disagreement between you and your contractor. As Manitoba Hydro will not be a party to any contract you have with your contractor, Manitoba Hydro cannot and will not act as mediator in any dispute or disagreement between you and your contractor.

If you would like to participate in our residential financing programs but your contractor or retailer is not a participating supplier, they can apply to join.

Become a participating program supplier – contractor or retailer

As a participating supplier, you can offer our financing programs to your residential customers. Helping your customers gain access to financial support when making energy efficient upgrades can help you attract more clients and gain additional business. You will also have access to program information and materials online.

Registration is easy and participation is free of charge.

Register to become a participating supplier.