RICHMOND– The need for repairs after storm damage can make consumers vulnerable to unscrupulous contractors who may exploit the situation. Virginia's Board for Contractors cautions the public to be wary of unlicensed contractors and home repair scam artists after severe weather.
Consumers can best protect themselves by checking for a valid contractor’s license, getting multiple estimates, insisting on a detailed written contract, and never paying in full up front.
Virginia law requires a state license-–not just a local business license-–for most contracting work or bids over $1,000. Consumers have very little recourse against unlicensed contractors. The Board for Contractors offers consumer resources, including the comprehensive guide What You Should Know Before Hiring a Contractor, available for free download. Before hiring a contractor, consumers should observe the following Top Ten Tips (download PDF):
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