How to Hire a Contractor
Home improvement and repair projects can provide scam artists opportunities to make money from other people’s loss and suffering. Keep in mind these tips when you look for a contractor, either for home repairs or a home improvement project.
- Don’t be victimized by someone making a door-to-door presentation, offering to do repair jobs or home improvement on-the-spot, and requiring a cash deposit. While an enterprising contractor may take the door-to-door sales approach, you must get proof that the person you are dealing with has a contractor’s license in the trade they are offering.
- Ask to see the contractor’s “pocket license” or Home Improvement Sales (HIS) registration. All contractors are issued pocket licenses that show the type of trade for which they are licensed and the expiration date. Also ask for some form of identification so you know who you are dealing with.
- When you call the Contractor’s State License Board to check on the contractor, be prepared with the contractor’s name, license number and business address.
- Get a least three bids, if possible, on a project and ask for references for work the contractor has completed in the local area. Taking the time to contact the references will save money and aggravation in the long run.
- Get a written contract for the project or repairs. Make sure the contractor’s license number is on it and don’t sign until you fully understand the terms. Remember if it’s in the contract, you can expect to have it done. If it’s not there, even with a verbal promise, you may not get what you think you are paying for.
For more home improvement tips or help finding a contractor, contact the North Coast Builders Exchange at 707-542-9502. To contact the California Contractors State License Board, visit www.cslb.ca.gov .