Your home is your sanctuary, your largest investment, and possibly your largest headache if you are not careful about who you hire. So, it pays to be careful when hiring home improvement contractors, whether for a small construction project or a huge renovation, you need to know that your contractor is reputable, reliable and not a cheat. Here are some helpful hints in selecting a home improvement contractor in New York.
According to a recent article in the Poughkeepsie Journal, the New York State Attorney General’s office has mediated more than 1,550 complaints against home improvement contractors since January 2007, and recovered more than $800,000 in restitution, settlements, or other discounts for consumers. So, how do you avoid becoming the next victim of home improvement contractor problems?
With the Internet, you have valuable resources at your fingertips allowing you to research your selection of a reputable contractor, with know your contractor links to NY state and local county agencies offering consumer assistance and information as to status of a contractor’s license (if required), and any complaints.
The AG’s web-site lists about 200 complaints, judgments, and information against home improvement contractors who are reportedly doing shoddy or incomplete work, or who take people’s down payments without finishing the job. That is a violation of New York State Lien Law, and can subject the contractor to significant penalties.
The names and identities of the contractors posted on this infamous list is too great to list here, but you should spend the time researching your contractor in Ulster, Dutchess and Columbia County. In New York State, home improvement contractors must be licensed to work on your home in New York City, Suffolk, Nassau, Westchester, Putnam, and Rockland counties.
The bottom line– be willing to investigate the person who works on your home. It’s customary and expected.