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Get it in Writing! Toolkit

Get it in Writing! Toolkit

Help Your Community Protect itself from the Underground Economy

Each year, and in every community across Canada, home owners invest over $70 billion to maintain and improve their homes. Unfortunately, in too many cases, they fall victim to contractors who promise a lower price – so long as nothing is written down.

The underground economy in home renovations and repairs is a big problem. It puts law-abiding contractors at a competitive disadvantage. It costs governments billions each year in lost revenue. And it results in many home owners getting ‘ripped off’ as a result of shoddy work, lack of building permits and inspections, and no warranty or recourse when ‘cash-only’ contractors don’t deliver what they promised.

Get it in Writing! is a national consumer information program operated by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association in collaboration with the Government of Canada. It provides home owners with objective, how-to information on safely hiring a contractor to work on their home – with a proper written contract that protects them.

Get it in Writing! also explains to home owners why doing things the ‘right way’ matters to them. It tells home owners that without a written contract, they will have little or no recourse if the work is done badly, or not at all. It cautions homeowners that, in the event of a workplace accident, they could be held liable for worker  injuries. It explains how municipal building permits and inspections protect them, and alerts them to the potential problems if permit requirements are not followed. In short, Get it in Writing! helps homeowners understand the considerable risks they face if they take a ‘cash’ contractor's advice to ‘skip the paperwork and save some money.’

Local Home Builders’ Association and CHBA members work hard to spread the Get it in Writing! message. We also invite municipal governments and elected leader to participate to help ensure residents make informed choices when they hire a contractor.

The toolkit provided here includes short messages, graphics and videos that you are free to incorporate in your communications with consumers. All this material includes links to the Get it in Writing! website, where home owners can learn about the simple steps needed to hire a contractor the smart and safe way.


Visit our YouTube channel for more videos.

Get it in Writing! Postcard

The get it in writing postcard is available for printing via PDF download. Please see this page for more information.

​English - Front

English - Back

French - Front

French - Back


These images, and others, can be downloaded from our Get it in Writing! Toolkit Dropbox.

Avoid Cash Deals

Learn from Others

Review your contract

Start your dream reno

Protect your Home

Golden Rules of Renovation

Social Media - Sample Messages

CHBA posts frequently on Twitter (@CHBANational) and our Facebook Page. We encourage you to retweet and share any of our social media material.

Topic: How to hire a contractor

Know what your #renovation needs are? Create a wish list & explore your #homebuilding options: #GetItInWriting

Protect your home from a bad renovation by hiring a qualified contractor, the right way: #GetItInWriting

#RenoTip: Always request a warranty on materials & workmanship for your home renovation! #GetItInWriting

Topic: Get a written contract

Renovating but unsure about what should be in the contract? Get the essential details here: #GetItInWriting

There are 7 elements every #renovation contract should include. Find out what they are: #GetItInWriting

Topic: Key elements of a renovation

#Renovating your home? You’ll likely need a building permit. Here’s what you need to know: #GetItInWriting

Learn why change orders, contingencies & hidden deficiencies matter for your renovation contract: #GetItInWriting

Topic: Why you should avoid a cash deal

#RenoTip: A guesstimate is not legally binding. Always get a written price quote from the contractor before proceeding. #GetItInWriting

Cash deals can put you & your #renovation at risk. Here's why you should avoid them at all costs: #GetItInWriting

More Content

Visit the CHBA Blog for more renovation content that encourages home owners to get a written contract for renovations and repairs.

The renovation section on our website ( is a go-to resource for Canadians looking to renovate their homes.