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How to Choose a Good Contractor

We, who live in the north, know the importance of having a reliable vehicle that will start on a cold day, but sometimes we forget about the importance of a reliable heating system for our residence or place of work. The decision to replace your heating equipment should not be taken lightly. We have found that the majority of appliance failures and inefficiencies do not have anything to do with the appliance itself but have everything to do with improper installation and maintenance by unqualified people or companies.


Following is a list of questions and observations that should be asked or observed before you make a final decision on hiring a contractor. Remember that the lowest price is rarely the best option, and in the long run, does it end up being the cheapest?


Questions and observations which are important in the decision of choosing the right contractor. Find our answers following each question.

Rate the answers you find by utilizing our convenient CONTRACTOR CHECKLIST.

1. Does the company have a list of references?

Yes, we do. They are available upon request.


2. How many years has the company been in business? (Will they be around in the future to take care of your appliances?)

We have been in the business for over 30 years.


3. Does the company have 24 hour emergency services? (Breakdowns happen at the worst possible time.)

Yes, we are available 24/7, 365 days a year. Many contractors do not have the resources to be able to provide this service, but we do.


4. Does the company have WCB coverage? (You could be held responsible if an injury happens while they are in your employment.)

Yes, we do have WCB coverage and our number is 312902.


5. Does the company have a GST number?

Yes, we do. Our GST number is 100792365RT0001.


6. Does the company have liability insurance? (The insurance company may not cover you.)

Yes, we do. We are covered through Northbridge Insurance.


7. Is the contractor knowledgeable about tax incentives and rebates which may be available?

Yes, all our contractors are kept up to date on incentives and rebates. In most cases, we will provide you with all necessary forms.


8. Does the company have readily available parts for your appliance?

We try to stock all common parts for the appliances we sell.


9. Does the company’s fleet reassure you?

We have the largest service vehicles in town and are able to carry more stock, thus saving you on multiple trips to get parts that are necessary to complete the job.

10. Does the company have a physical address?

Yes, we do. We are located at 1797 Lyon Street S., Prince George, B.C.


11. Are the employees neat, clean and professional?

Our employees take great pride in the work that they do. Being professional and neat at all times is part of who we are.


12. Will the company clean up after themselves and dispose of old equipment?

Yes, we do clean up the job site as well as take away any old equipment. It is then properly disposed of.


13. Does the contractor have proper licenses? (Municipal, gas, safety, etc.)

Canuck Mechanical has all the proper licensing.


14. Ask to see the installer’s gas fitting certificate.

Our employees will be proud to show their certificates.


15. Does the company belong to the BBB®, TECA or any industry associations?

Yes, we belong to many industry associations including, MCABC, MCAPG, TECA, BBB®, ITA and others.


16. Will the company cover the warranty of the equipment they install, and are they prepared to offer an extended warranty?

Yes, we honour warranties on all equipment we sell and install. Extended warranties are available on some equipment.


17. Did the contractor discuss the importance of regular maintenance and offer a maintenance program if they do supply and install?


18. Did you receive a written estimate before work commenced, and were you given different options?

Canuck Mechanical will provide you with a written estimate and provide you with a few different options.

19. Is the contractor associated with nationally recognized equipment manufacturers?

Yes, we represent many manufacturers including Amana®, Goodman®, American Standard, Bradford White®, Navien, Burnham®, Honeywell and many more.


20. Does the company have a website?

Yes, we do. You can find us at www.canuckmechanical.com.


21. Does the company require more than a 25% deposit before work commences?

No, you are not required to pay in full until the work has been completed.


Be especially careful about the following pitfalls:


1. Beware of the lowest price.

You want to spend the least amount possible for quality work. However, cheap contractors typically cut corners, which costs more in the long run. Cheap contractors cannot afford to fix mistakes, resulting in the need to pay twice. Often the lowest price is not the lowest at all.


2. Beware of the Yellow Pages.

Selecting a contractor from the Yellow Pages is tantamount to throwing a dart. Maybe you will get lucky, maybe not. The Yellow Pages should be used as a tool of last resort.


3. Beware companies without a track record.

Every company has to start sometime. Yet, heating and air conditioning companies tend to fail frequently. In fact, one company in five closes annually. The best indicator that a company will survive long enough to honour its warranty obligations is that it has survived in the past.


4. Beware anything that sound too good to be true.

Usually, something too good to be true really is too good to be true.

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