Concluding a detailed agreement with the contractor you hire is to your benefit. The more details your contract contains, the better informed you will be regarding what to expect.

Contract concluded in person

The Office de la protection du consommateur recommends that you always request a written contract from the contractor you hire. A written contract will make it more likely the results will conform to what you expected. It will also make it easier to assert your rights if the work is not properly done or not completed.

Useful information to be included in the contract

The contract does not have to adhere to a specific form, especially if you are doing business with an itinerary merchant. Make sure that everything that was promised by the contractor is included in the contract, along with all important details. The contract should include :

  • the contractor’s name and address;
  • the license and permit numbers, if they are required;
  • the scheduled start and end of work dates;
  • a statement in which the contractor commits to abide by the municipal regulations and the National Building Code standards;
  • the contractor's liability insurance policy number and the name of the insurance company;
  • a detailed description of the work to be done, along with the type and quantity of materials to use (make sure to append the estimate to the contract);
  • the total cost and the terms of payment.

To ensure the work will be done within the specified time limits, ask for the following note to be added to the contract: "The work will be completed before or on (date); otherwise the contractor will refund the down payment paid by the client."

Also make sure to add a note mentioning the contract total includes the removal of construction debris at the end of the project, especially if you had major renovation work done.

Also make sure to indicate the contractor must obtain your authorisation before doing work that was not included in the contract.

Contract concluded with an itinerant merchant

Did you conclude an agreement with an itinerant merchant? A contractor is considered an itinerant merchant if they solicit your business outside of their actual offices, for example, if they come to your home to sell their products or services.

What if you asked a renovation contractor to come and meet you at your home? The Consumer Protection Act considers a contractor as an itinerant merchant when :

  • they sell or install doors, windows, shingles on rooftops, thermal insulation, or exterior cladding;
  • they execute work linked to the sale or installation of such elements.

The law prescribes that such a contract must be concluded in writing and that it includes all mandatory information. For further information, refer to the page Contents of an itinerant merchant contract.

A contract concluded with an itinerant merchant can be cancelled within 10 days. For further information about cancelling this type of contract, refer to the page Cancelling a contract concluded in person.

Contract concluded by phone or online

If you plan on choosing a contractor over the phone or online, know that the law provides that a distance contract must be provided in writing.

Information to obtain before signing a contract

Before concluding a contract, the merchant must provide certain mandatory information. For example :

  • their name, address, phone number and, if available, their fax number and email address;
  • a detailed description of the services offered;
  • the total amount you will need to pay and, if it applies, the amount to be paid on periodic payments;
  • the terms of payment;
  • the start date of the construction work;
  • the duration of the work;
  • the cancellation terms;
  • any other condition or restriction that applies to the contract.

Transmission of the written contract

The contractor must provide a written contract within 15 days after you entered into an agreement. This will allow you to verify whether the contract's contents correspond to the offer that was made to you. The contract must be presented in a way that allows you to hold on to it.

Content of the written contract

The contract must include your name and your address, the contract signature date, and all the other mandatory information the merchant must provide before you enter into an agreement.

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Last update : May 3, 2021

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The information contained on this page is presented in simple terms to make it easier to understand. It does not replace the texts of the laws and regulations.