Building & Renovating

Hiring a Contractor

COVID-19: FAQ for Development Approvals

As the COVID-19 situation in Hamilton continues to evolve, these Frequently Asked Questions for Development Approvals will be regularly updated as circumstances change to provide residents and developers with current information.

Tips to consider when selecting a contractor

  • Ensure the contractor has a valid trade licence
  • Do not get pressured into signing anything
  • Always get a written estimate and at least three quotes
  • Get a fully itemized estimate and make sure the details are written into a contract
  • Get other quotes if you are asked to give a down payment of more than 5% to 15% of the total contract price
  • Determine if the job requires a Building Permit. It is your responsibility to get a Building Permit, if you need one, before you start construction

Licensed contractors

All contractors must have a valid Trade and Contractor Licence to operate in Hamilton.

Trades that require a licence include:

  • Building repair contractors such as roofers, carpenters, bricklayers, concrete workers, window and door installers, siding contractors and foundation waterproofing contractors
  • Drain contractors
  • Plumbing contractors
  • Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning contractors
  • Fire sprinkler installer contractors

In order to get a valid licence, contractors go through a process to ensure they have:

  • Police criminal check
  • Third party liability insurance

When you apply for a Building Permit, you must provide the licence number of the contractor who is doing the work.

Listing of licensed contractors

View our Open Data list of Licensed Contractors. Looking for a specific contractor? Use the filter tools to enter a name to search the listing online.

Contractor inspections

The City usually only investigates contractors if a complaint is made. If we receive a complaint of anyone operating without a valid licence, we ensure compliance with Hamilton’s Licensing By-Law No. 07-170.

Inspectors can carry out random spot checks to see if a contractor is operating with a proper licence.