Help Me Pick a Contractor

What company would you choose from this list?

A friend, Jeff, who lives in Barrie put this message on his Facebook page. I thought it was interesting and I wonder which company you would choose.

It’s time to do some home renos. But I could use some friend input.

We’ve looked at a few companies (no names cause I don’t want bias if you’ve used the company)

Company A was recommended from a family member who has used them for decades and I know the name from growing up in the area. Their website reviews seemed good so we met with the contractor but turns out it’s a new guy who just bought the company. His suggestions for reno seem to be based on trends but he admitted it’s not his usual style of work. He gave a rough cost but won’t give a written quote.

Company B is one I’ve heard of but I don’t know anyone recently who has used them. Lots of great website reviews about their customer service. A friend tried them many years ago and didn’t like the work, but admitted their budget didn’t match the vision. The contractor put together a design that was a modern yet future ready look. The price was a bit higher than expected. My only concern is I found an error in the quote and I think they may have under quoted on the price.

Company C advertises a lot in the area and seems to do a lot of trend based work but their Yelp reviews are really mixed and a lot say that the owner isn’t trustworthy. The contractor is offering free upgrades and says he’ll work around our budget.

Company D is a start up business that looks nice but only does a certain style. His quote ignored some of our design wants and added things we didn’t want but he says we will see the added benefit once we get used to them.

I’ve not done a major reno before so I need some advice. I know that no one company will be perfect but I can’t decide where I’ll be happiest with the results.

Thoughts any one?


I responded: B sounds like a good choice though it depends on how much ‘more than expected‘ the price is. If it’s too much, it’s too much. However, that price might just be what you need to pay to get what you want.

Some of his other friends wrote:

Michelle: I’d eliminate “C” and “D” right away. “A” would not inspire confidence if they can’t even give a written quote. And the company is only as good as the person running it, so I wouldn’t consider trust for the last person who owned it to carry forward.
I’d probably be looking at “B” but asking some tough questions about the quote before signing.

Tania: I would give the new company a shot. Eager to impress, fresh and wants to build a professional name for himself. That’s a good thing. Did you get a good feeling from him?

Samantha: A or B. Though maybe keep shopping around. If you don’t have a good gut feeling about any of them then maybe none are right.

Joe: What kind of Reno r we talking about?

Jim: Just do it yourself. I can give you some pointers and loan out some tools…but anyone GOOD is expensive and booked.


What Company would you choose?


A little while later, he sent me a private message that made me say “Brilliant! I love it”

It turns out he wasn’t renovating. This was a thought experiment about the upcoming Ontario Election! I reread his post a couple times and it got better with every read. Even the comments are more interesting in this light, especially Jim’s comment to just DIY!

He waited a day to reveal this publicly:

Yesterday I wrote this post and got some interesting replies.

Here is the part I left out. I’m not doing renovations on our house. We are renovating our provincial house…the Ontario Government.

This was a scenario post to draw parallel to the political parties looking to run our province next month. I tried to keep my personal political lines out of contractor descriptions and only used public comments I have seen / heard about each party.

However you vote next month, vote informed and not just because that’s what you have always done. Treat our province like you would treat your home. Scrutinize the platforms and vote for what makes the most sense for our “home”.

However you vote next month, vote with an informed perspective and an open mind to the pros and cons of each party and how their platform impacts our province.

In case you can’t figure out which contractor represents which party, here you go:
Company A – PC
Company B – NDP
Company C – Liberal
Company D – Green


Be informed and vote for the “renovation” you want for this province!