Checking a construction or renovation contractor’s RBQ licence may be in vain if you do not do it at the right time or based on an informed assessment. Informed consumer alert: here are six things you need to know before checking a contractor’s licence:
- In Quebec, only a qualified plumber can legally do the plumbing and only a qualified electrician can do electrical work. For example, removing a kitchen counter with a sink requires plumbing and if it’s not done by a plumber with a valid licence then it’s in violation of the law. Fines can be heavy.
- In Quebec, only a general contractor may subcontract work to an electrician or a plumber. Some trade contractors (for example, a specialized kitchen contractor) may claim that they have always subcontracted this type of work, but they are in violation of the law.
- Checking the validity of the licence before accepting a bid is not enough. The contractor may lose it before or during the work, causing you to lose your right to surety — in other words, you would have no protection.
- There is no early warning system if your contractor’s licence is revoked. So you should check it often during your project (like Reno-Assistance does for its customers).
- The name of the licence holder must match the one on your contract. For example, ‘Renovation ABCD’ is different than ‘Renovations ABCD Inc.’ In some cases, it could be two different entities and you may be working with an illegal contractor if they don’t match, which would cause you to lose your rights to certain remedies, tax credits or subsidies.
- Specialized contractors must possess every licence class or subclass they need for a project. For more details, check out the list of subclasses on the RBQ site.
In short, each type of work requires a special licence and only one general contractor may subcontract in every class. Depending on their specialities, they can also do many types of projects themselves.
What are your next steps?
- Visit the Régie du bâtiment (RBQ) site to check the licence classes held by your contractor and their validity.
- Electrician licences are granted by Corporation des maîtres électriciens du Québec (CMEQ).
- “Real” plumbers are registered with the Corporation des maîtres mécaniciens en tuyauterie du Québec (CMMTQ), but not every plumber can connect natural gas or propane — they must have the right licence. However, pipes for a foundation drain or a water heater are outside a plumber’s domain.
For Reno-Assistance customers, advisors select contractors with the right licences for their projects. We check the validity of the licence as soon as our customers let us know their intention to go ahead with a contractor. We also notify our customers if we discover, along the way, if a licence is no longer valid.
Give Reno-Assistance a call today! 1-888-670-9742
Reno-Assistance works with consumers and small businesses wishing to take on renovation or construction projects, providing recommendations — free of charge — for trustworthy, 360° Verified contractors when it comes to their licences, expertise and solvency. Customers also receive expert advice at every stage of their project’s development.
Founded in 2010 by Eric Perigny in Laval, the company now has 30 employees and covers the entire province of Quebec. Reno-Assistance has so far contributed to more than 57,000 renovation projects and counting. You can view some of our latest customer’s completed along with their price tags using our tool Reno-Inspiration.
For further information or to start receiving competing quotes from our 360° Verified contractors for your latest renovation project, give us a call today or simply submit your project online and one of our advisors will be in touch to assist. The best thing about our service is it’s completely FREE and there are no obligations.
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