Professional Contractors vs. “Joe Odd Jobs on KIJIJI”

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There is a world of difference between a Professional Contractor and someone who is not! I can’t count the number of times I have come across a “handyman” on a stage job, someone hired through kijiji and the owner is frustrated and upset! I understand everyone wants to save money, but there really is something to be said for knowledge and experience when it comes to home repairs and renos.

Most basic is taking the time and effort to keep a clean workspace, protecting flooring and furniture with drop sheets. A few weeks ago I was in a home for some final measuring and inspection before a stage job. It had been cleaned and was ready for us to stage. We returned not 24 hours later and the “handyman” was there to do touch ups. He had obviously been touching up baseboards because there were paint splatters all over the floor along all the baseboards in every room. NO DROP SHEETS ANYWHERE! He had obviously dropped a glob of paint on the floor and then stepped in it and proceeded to walk around the brand new laminate flooring leaving a paint splotch complete with the outline of the sole of his shoe all over the floors! There was caulking on the kitchen counters and the sink was filthy. I had to grab a broom and sweep the floors before we could bring any furniture in to prevent damage by scratching the floors. He had that much construction debris on the floors in a matter of hours! He left without cleaning up his mess! This is plain silly. A Professional would not only use drop sheets, they would clean up after themselves and leave the home in the same condition in which they found it or better!

We did another job where the home owners did some improvements before selling; trim pieces were not cut using a mitre saw; there were gaps between trim pieces or the trim and walls. No towel bars were installed in the bathrooms after painting but they had left the holes in the walls from the old ones – no patching! They had re-surfaced the kitchen cabinets and installed new counters and backsplash. The upper and lower cabinets were perfectly aligned (as they were original), then the counter had an overhang on the SIDE by about 6 inches off from the upper and lower cabinets alignment; then to top it off; instead of fitting and cutting the backsplash tile and using proper tile edging he stopped the tile midway between the counter and the cabinets so there was no unity whatsoever. Normally the backsplash tile is uniform with the end of the cabinet. If my boys at KAT Reno ever did something like that, there would be hell to pay. They would be ripping it out and redoing it properly! There are simply some things that you just do not do! If I walked in and found them in construction shoes walking all over new flooring without drop sheets, they would never do it again – at least in one of my jobs! To get a good job you must understand what to do; what tools are required to do it and how to finish it properly so it looks great! You just don’t seem to find a lot of guys who know these things on KIJIJI.


One of my all-time favourites, which we see most often, is a painter who is so much less expensive than anyone else. When you look at the work he does, it’s unbelievable! No way would I pay someone for that! They do a quick roll of the walls; often leaving roller marks on the floor, carpet or ceiling, and then one quick coat of paint on the walls. Everywhere you look, the original paint can still be seen because paint shrinks as it dries. That’s why you usually need a second coat unless you use a top grade, thick paint, even then…. There is nothing worse than a bad paint job where the paint below can be seen. It looks like exactly what it is; a poor, fast job, where no one cares! Isn’t that a great impression for a Buyer to have?!

Let’s face it anyone can print out some business cards and get a website for a couple of hundred bucks. That doesn’t mean they are a Professional or have any clue as to what they are doing. Get references on people; check them out at the Better Business Bureau or the Manitoba Home Builders’ AssociationMHBA have a list of Professional Contractors through their Renomark Program that are sure to do a good and Professional job. Finally tell people what you expect in terms of quality of work, do not settle for less. However, remember if you want good quality work, you won’t get it at rock bottom prices. What’s most important to you, a good job that was done right the first time and a home that sells quickly? Or would you rather have a poor cheap job and a home that isn’t selling… and you’re not exactly sure why? I always tell people staging will never hide a bad reno job but it sure makes a great reno job look that much more amazing!