Homeowners Corner: Tips for reference checking

Most likely you are familiar with the concept of reference checking.  Perhaps you’ve had to give references to a potential employer. Perhaps you’ve had to check a potential employees references.  Reference checking is fairly standard in the Human Resource world and it should be no different in the world of Home Renovations!

If you haven’t heard this tip before, keep it in mind going forward.  Always, always, always check references before you hire a mover, lawyer, decorator, contractor, roofer or any other home improvement professional.

For many the hardest part of reference checking is the thought of picking up the phone and calling a complete stranger.   Many people find this both awkward and intimidating.  So with this in mind I’ve put together a few tips for reference checking.  Check them out below and good luck!

 Homeowners Corner: Tips for reference checking

  •  Call in the early evening.  This is often a convenient time for a lot of people
  • Explain to the person you are calling that you are reference checking and that the company or person you are considering hiring suggested that you contact them.
  • Ask if this is a convenient time to speak – if it isn’t ask if you could call at a different time that would be more convenient.
  • If they have the time  ensure them that you won’t take up much of their time.
  • Ask if they were satisfied with the services provided, and were they what was expected and laid out in the contract.
  • Ask if the services provided were completed within the time frame expected.
  • Ask if the job site was kept clean and safely secured for the entirety of the project.
  • Ask if there were any difficulties getting in touch with the person or company hired during or after the project was completed.
  • Ask if there were any surprises with the final bill that was presented to them
  • Ask if they have recommended that professional or company to any of their friends.
  • Ask if they would use that professional or company again. (Note: If there is any hesitation here, don’t be afraid to ask why they hesitated!).
  • Thank them for their time.


If you’d like more information about reference checking and tips for hiring a contractor visit the Candian Home Builders’ Association’s website, they have some great tips and helpful worksheets.


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