When it comes to home renovations, cutting corners can often end up backfiring, a trend that has been increasing steadily according to a local electrical inspector. 

Nathan Dyck, the local Electrical Inspector for the Technical Safety Authority of Saskatchewan (TSASK), explained that this can become a major issue if homeowners are hiring contractors for work that they are not qualified or licensed to perform at their homes.   

“A person could hire a handyman and they could do the job and it may work, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's safer to the Canadian Electrical Code, which is a minimum standard that is put there to make sure electrical systems are wired safely,” he stated. “So, you could be putting yourself at risk for a fire or a shock, or maybe even issues with the insurance, if you had a claim.” 

When hiring someone to do work in your house, it is critical to ensure that they are a licensed and bonded contractor to protect homeowners, he stated. 

“These contractors have to carry a bond through an insurance company,” he said. “If I were to go there and inspect and find something wrong and they didn't honor to go back and make those repairs, I can access their insurance bond and hire another company to make those repairs,” he explained 

He added that hiring an unqualified individual can easily happen by contractors not being truthful about the work that they are qualified for or simply a lack of education. 

“You want to do your research,” he stated. “You want to ask for references, you want to ask if they're able to pull or get the appropriate permits, you could ask for copies of those permits. And always ask for detailed receipts, stating and breaking down cabinets, electrical, plumbing and all that. That can also help you if it ever went to court.” 

It is also important to consider previous work done when purchasing a new home, which is information a realtor would be able to access if the work was done through a bonded and licensed contractor, he noted. 

TSASK is responsible for Electrical Permits, Inspections & Licensing within the province of Saskatchewan and establishes and enforces electrical safety to ensure that electrical installations are certified, approved and comply with safety standards established under the Electrical Inspection and Licensing Acts and Regulations. 

Important questions and information to ask a potential contractor working in your home include: 

Are you qualified to perform the work and obtain all the proper permits? 

Are you licensed and bonded? 

Are you licensed with the City of Swift Current if the work is being done within the city?