The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs reports that they receive more complaints from consumers about home-improvement contractors than any other business-including car dealers. Below are some tips to help you avoid getting ripped-off.
The License Requirement
All contractors must be licensed with The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. Their license number must be printed on their estimates, contracts and change orders.
When does a Home Improvement Contract Needs to be in Writing?
All contracts greater than $500.00 must be in writing.
The Home Improvement Contractor's Insurance Requirement.
At the time of signing the contract, a home improvement contractor must give you a copy of the declarations page of their liability insurance policy-proof of insurance. (Call and make sure it is valid and current).
When will the Contractor start and stop work.
All contracts must have a start and stop date.
Obtaining Permits before beginning work.
The contractor may not begin work without ensuring that all the necessary building permits have been obtained from the municipality.
Builidng materials must be included in the Home Improvement Contract
All contracts must contain a complete and detailed description of the work to be performed and the products to be used.
Your Right to Cancel
Every contract must contain a three day notice of cancellation.
Never give a contractor money in advance or before starting work-there are too many contractors who never show-up after they have taken money.
A contractor cannot demand final payment before completing the project and before the final inspection by the municipality.
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