Hiring A Contractor – Contracts Establish Trust

Cash jobs, no bill no tax, under the table. These are all common terms you hear in the construction and home improvement industry. No one wants to pay more than they have to, no one likes paying taxes, and it is unfortunately true that tax dollars are not always spent wisely. However, these underhanded techniques to save money have several negative implications.

First of all, if you are interviewing a contractor and they mention avoiding paying tax three things are happening. One, it is blatantly illegal. You and your contractor can be charged or fined for such activity. Two, if your contractor brings this up he is essentially admitting his dishonesty and thus his untrustworthiness.  Finally, if this is your idea, you are defining yourself as dishonest.

Contracts provide clarity and prevent misunderstandings

Have you found a contractor you can trust? How do you know? Maybe friends or family members have told you they good work, have good prices, or some other benefit, but if they are willing to lie about their income on their business taxes, if they are willing to hide things from the tax man, if they are willing to put their character into question then what makes you think you can really trust them? They have obviously demonstrated they are comfortable lying so how do you know they will deliver what they promised? There is the problem. Lying about income to the tax man means that your contractor could be lying to you about the work they are performing. There is no way you can really trust them because by lying, they have demonstrated they are not trustworthy.

Some people think that it’s ok because both the contractor and the homeowner are on the same page.  Since they are in this together, their reasoning goes, they can trust each other, at least for this transaction. The problem with that line of thinking is that once the contractor has your money there is no reason for them to complete the project, or even start it for that matter and you have no recourse.

Contracts protect both you and your contractor.

When hiring someone, always have a signed contract that spells everything out in as much detail as possible. This is your agreement with each other on what is to happen, how it is to happen, how long it should take, how much it should cost, and what warranty is offered. If any communication problems arise you can both refer to the contract for clarification.

This means you will have to pay tax but think of it this way:  those tax dollars will hopefully be spent in beneficial ways in your community. Also, think of that extra amount as your insurance that in the event there is a problem you have proof of your agreement with each other. Finally, consider that amount as a form of insurance to prevent problems from coming up in the first place.

Don’t degrade yourself to save a few dollars and don’t enable contractors to degrade themselves to get your business. Always get a contract, accept the tax bill, and your projects will go smoother.


Bellevue Landscaping is a quality oriented Toronto landscaping company serving Toronto, Vaughan, and Mississauga.  We specialize in developing home landscapes into beautiful spaces families can enjoy!


Canada Blooms

Spring is on it’s way!  Although you wouldn’t know it from the weather recently.  The first sign is not always the first Robin in your backyard but rather Canada Blooms, the largest gardening and landscaping show which started last weekend.  This a great place to get ideas for gardening, landscaping, and other outdoor activities.  The exhibits are amazing with sample gardens and outdoor living ideas you can use yourself or as inspiration when working with your contractor.  You can find magnificent backyard displays, interesting and unique flowers, and seminars on gardening to help you realize your perfect landscape.  With admission you will also get access to the National Home Show which will give you even more ideas to help improve your home.  There is so much to do!


We will be there as usual, not with an exhibit, but enjoying ourselves with all the things to see and do.  It is the premier outdoor living event of the year that gets us fired up for the season with all the new and creative ways of making our homes beautiful.  Take your whole family and have a great time.  See you there!



Increase the Value of Your Home with High Value Landscaping


A Virginia Tech survey a few years ago showed well landscaped properties go up in value more than properties with poor landscaping or no landscaping at all.


Three Landscaping Services that Give You the Biggest Bang for Your Buck

The survey looked at the change in home value from basic landscaping to sophisticated landscaping and found the best ways to invest in landscaping are:

  1. Design sophistication
  2. Plant size
  3. Diversity of plant material type

The authors found an increase of 5.5% to 11.4%, but one of the most interesting points to come out of this study is that poor landscaping can actually lower the value of your home.  This means for a $1 million dollar home, good landscaping can increase the value between $55,000 and $114,000.

The good news is you don’t necessarily have to do all the landscaping at once.  Unless you’re selling your home right away, you can do the hardscaping one year with potted plants for a splash of colour, you can add trees and shrubs the following year, and in the third year you can finalize the design of your property.


Curb Appeal Increases Value

Curb appeal will increase the value of your home.  Take advantage of this information to beautify your home and increase the value at the same time.  Call us and we can help you!

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