With such nice weather these past few weeks, it is hard not to get excited about starting some home improvement projects on your family’s home (or even your business). If you are thinking about doing a project and need to hire a contractor to help, here are some very important things to remember:
Ask to see their contractor’s license. All contractors should have a copy of their State of CT issued license on them when they come to your house to give you an estimate. General Home Improvement contractors will have a HIC license. Other specialty contractors will have the HIC but will also have a license specific to their trade, like plumbers and electricians.
Check to make sure your contractor’s license is valid. You can go to the State of CT’s website, Department of Consumer Protection. There is a blue box on the home page labeled “Consumers” where you can click on the worda, “verify a license” and then click on “look up a license.” Type in the information provided by the contractor and the website will tell you if their license is active, or not.
Ask your contractor to see proof of insurance. You should want to see a liability insurance policy as well as a worker’s compensation policy. Generally, the contractor will have a “declaration page” for each policy that indicates the effective dates of the policies. Keep in mind that self employed small contractors do not have to purchase worker’s compensation insurance on themselves or their family members.
You might also want to ask your contractor if he belongs to any trade associations, such as the Chamber of Commerce or the Builders Association. Conscientious contractors usually join such groups to stay up to date on trade products, services and new mandates.
Every contractor should give you an official proposal for the work you are requesting to be done. This should include a description of the work, the price, a deposit if required and a starting date. It should also indicate how long the quote is good for.
If you hire a contractor he should then give you a contract to sign that again has all the information indicated above but should also include a “notice of cancellation” which gives you the right to change your mind about hiring the contractor for three days after you sign the contract. The contract should include additional terms and conditions such as warranties, returns, and payment and collections information. Be sure to read these carefully.
If you are looking for local contractors to help you with your projects you can go to our website, www.WindhamChamber.com and search under our “for members” section. If you prefer to speak to someone you can call our office at 860-423-6389 for referrals.
Some of our members you may want to consider this spring are:
Ackert Electric, 742-9506
CJ Electrical Services, 450-0232
Eco Clean Professionals, 916-1105
Fire Alarm Specialty Design, 786-1849
Hampton Remodeling, 455-1340
J. Thomas Roofing, 465-9127
Gutter Guys, 428-5506
C&T Home Improvements, 456-4406
Majestic Masonry, 281-6645
Tabor’s Floor Covering, 974-1818
Winslow Hardwood Flooring, 429-1648
Ken & Ken Lawn Care, 550-4568
Lagasse Lawn Care, 208-6582
Milrick Lawn Service, 420-9858
New View Tree Removal, 377-6325
Tennet Tree Service, 423-0895
Bill Bender Wallcovering, 228-3974
Ingles Cleaning Service, 377-2208
Nuisance Management, 906-8365
T&J Finishes, 281-8148
RJ Riquier Plumbing, 423-0677
Great Places to see home interior products:
Design Center East, 450-8442
Willimantic Interior Design, 423-6082