Contractors – Licensed or Not! – So now you’ve had your inspection and the inspector has uncovered several items or issues or maybe you already own your home and need some professional work for improvements or replacement of an item. Home inspectors are not suppose to do improvements on a home they just inspected nor do they typically recommend specific contractors or specialist and they don’t always quote pricing for the improvements they have just reported on, they can, but typically it is a range in dollars which may be outdated. You can find more information in our Code of Ethics.
Most trades have associations which they belong to or in the case of “compulsory trades” in Ontario, will need to register with Ontario College of Trades.
The Ontario College of Trades (the College) is an industry-driven, professional regulatory body that protects the public by regulating and promoting the skilled trades. One of the main responsibilities of the College is to ensure that individuals performing the skills of compulsory trades have the training and certification required to legally practice this trade in Ontario.
There are 23 designated compulsory trades in Ontario. If you click Trades in Ontario you will see a link to view Trades Names and Codes click here; located at the top of the page, click on the link and you will get a .pdf with all of the trades that are compulsory and voluntary. If you scroll down the Trades in Ontario page you will also see each trade and a corresponding marketing brochure (.pdf) with more information.
For the purpose of this website we will focus on HVAC, Electricians, Roofers and Plumbers, see below:
Plumber – If you want to search for a specific compulsory trades person or company (Plumber, HVAC, Electrician etc.) you can search the Ontario College of Trades Registry.
Roofing – Roofers are not a licensed trade in Ontario. They are listed in the Ontario College of Trades Registry as “non compulsory” trade. So how do you find a roofer?. There are two associations you can start with. The Canadian Roofing Contractors Association (CRCA) and Ontario Industrial Roofing Contractors Association (OIRCA) where the latter is more for commercial/industrial roofs. Ideally word of mouth is probably the best way to find a roofer, or any trade. Once you found three roofers, you may want to look them up on the Ontario College of Trades Registry, the BBB and see if they are on the Consumer Buyer Beware List. You should probably go to the Ministry of Labor Site or Government of Ontario site to research Hiring a Roofer both sites will give you more info on roofers and how to deal with them.
HVAC – In Ontario qualified HVAC (heating and A/C) contractors must also be registered with Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA),To find a Qualified HVAC Contractor. You can also check with The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) they maintain a List of HVAC Contractors who are required to provide and maintain insurance coverage, valid trade certificates and licenses, and sign and agree to conform to the HRAI Member Code of Ethics.
Electrician – The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) is Ontario’s electrical safety regulator. Their job is to help enhance electrical safety for the people of Ontario, find a licensed electrician at Contractor Locator.
Engineer – The Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) is the licensing and regulating body for professional engineering in the province. Here you can find many types of engineers. You can search by name and or company.
Consumer Buyer Beware List
The Consumer Protection Ontario site is an awareness program from Ontario’s Ministry of Government and Consumer Services and other public organizations, known as administrative authorities, that promote consumer rights and public safety.
I recommend that you look over the Consumer Protection Ontario site before you hire a contractor, and there is a Consumer Buyer Beware List – a list of businesses that have been charged or convicted in relation to the Consumer Protection Act or other acts of the ministry. You can search for a specific business.