Scrutinizing Kitchener roofing and paving companies, the LRT and house sales. This is the Marshall Report

Roofing and paving companies come under city scrutiny 

The city of Kitchener wants to regulate roofing and paving companies. With the goal of consumer protection, reducing the chance of fraud, the city would like to change the city’s licensing bylaw so they can better regulate the industries.

In theory it sounds like a good idea. I support the idea. But in practice it will likely add costs not only in terms of city budget (clerking and enforcement) but also licensing fees that will be passed onto consumers like me. The bylaw will be hard to enforce.

It’s tough being a homeowner. There are decisions to be made, decisions about home maintenance and improvement purchases like roofs, windows, flooring and driveways. If you move and sell your home every seven to ten years, you might be able to dodge this bullet, but otherwise you’re on your own, you have to decide.

First you have to get quotes. Then you have to compare. Then you have to pay.

It’s the comparing that is the hard part.

I have to do my driveway this summer. In the old days there was one choice – paving. But now I could choose paving or concrete, patterned concrete, pebble stone or a combination of all these. I needed to get a lot of quotes and I spoke with at least two contractors in every area.

Just like when I was shopping for a backyard swimming pool a couple of summers ago, I met with the good the bad and the ugly. I learned and compared what I learned against the other quotes. At the end of the day, I had to rely on intuition and trust.


LRT becomes a physical reality. Construction begins.

I’ve lived through this sort of thing before – major traffic disruptions due to mass rapid transit construction. That was way back in the 1990’s when I lived in Taipei and they were putting in the MRT. The construction was everywhere and the system took a long long time to complete.

Three areas in Waterloo Region are about to be impacted as construction begins on our loved and loathed LRT.

  • Caroline Street, in Uptown Waterloo.
  • Borden Street, just outside Kitchener’s downtown core.
  • Dutton Drive in Waterloo, which will be the future site for an operations and storage facility for the system.

Of these three, the Caroline Street construction in UpTown Waterloo will be the trickiest spot with the most traffic disruption (at Erb and into the parking lot behind) but we have been ensured that customers will have access to the LCBO.


House sales up 6%

I like to read the real estate statistics. I’m not sure why. They are not detailed enough to be useful. They are misleading – we tend to draw the wrong conclusions. But I guess, they shed some light on general trends.

This story in the Waterloo Region Record told us that there were a lot of houses sold in July, 662 to be exact. That’s 6% more than July 2013. See there’s the headline. But that is not really important. What’s more important is that sales for this year are close to historic levels. We should expect this. We are growing community. We should be continually breaking historic number of homes sold records.

Here are some other stats:

The average price for all residential units sold was $335,858, up 5%.

The year-over-year sales are still down — the 4,069 transactions for the first seven months of 2014 are 1.6% below the 4,135 sales in the first seven months of last year.

Detached homes sold for an average price of $378,459, an increase of 4.7%, while condominiums sold for an average price of $223,302, an increase of 3.9% compared with July 2013.





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1 Comment

  1. I think more ministry workers need to be hired to oversee roofing in kitchener, waterloo area.
    The amount of unlicensed roofers is staggering. At some point someone will get badly hurt or killed.
    I see companies I know do not have the necessary permits or licenses to work

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