Improve Your Spring Improvements
Media Contact: Kerri O'Brien
Improve Your Spring Improvements, Hire a Licensed Contractor
(RICHMOND, VA) — If you’re planning for home repairs or remodeling this spring, the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) offers some important tips to a avoid costly dilemma.
“Your home is likely your most valuable financial asset. Before you build or remodel, make sure you hire a reputable contractor that is properly licensed with DPOR,” said DPOR spokesperson Kerri O’Brien.
If the work you are considering is valued at $1,000 or more, a valid Virginia Contractor’s License is required. As best practice, it’s a good idea to hire a licensed contractor regardless of the cost the work. Before you sign a contract, ask for a copy of the contractor’s license. You can verify their license status and check for any past disciplinary actions using DPOR’s License Lookup. Make sure the contractor is licensed to do their work you’re looking for. For instance, electricians, plumbers, and HVAC workers must have a license that corresponds with the work to be done. Contact the Virginia Board for Contractors for assistance at 804-367-2785.
Ten Other Top Tips for Hiring a Contractor:
1. Ask friends and neighbors for referrals.
2. Get three references, review past work.
3. Get at least three written estimates. Don’t automatically go with the lowest bidder. Ask for explanations on the price variations.
4. Insist on a detailed contract, including agreed-upon start and finish dates.
5. Don’t rely on verbal agreements. Get all guarantees and warranties in writing.
6. Don’t pay for the entire job upfront. Pay 10% down, or $1,000 whichever is less.
7. Don’t make your final payment until you’re satisfied with job.
8. Never pay in cash.
9. Make sure any changes to the project are in writing and signed by you and your contractor.
10. Keep good records. Save copies of the contract, invoices, change orders and all correspondence with your contractor.
If problems occur, contact your contractor first to make corrections. If the issue cannot be resolved, you should file a written complaint with the Virginia Board for Contractors. You may also wish to consult an attorney. For more information about contractor licensing and the Board for Contractors visit DPOR’s website at www.dpor.virginia.gov.
“DPOR is committed to ensuring a vibrant, free and open business environment while also working to protect and educate Virginia’s consumers,” said DPOR Director Demetrios Melis.
DPOR is an executive branch agency that oversees 18 regulatory boards and programs. DPOR issues professional licenses, certificates, or registration in the least intrusive, least burdensome and most efficient way to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public.