Hiring a Contractor

Prior to Hiring a Contractor

Before you hire a contractor consider the following:

  • Hire only licensed contractors
  • Check contractor's license number at 800-321-2752 or online
  • Get three references, review past work
  • Get at least three bids
  • Get a written contract and don't sign anything until you completely understand the terms
  • Only pay for work completed
  • Don't make the final payment until you're satisfied with the job
  • Don't pay in cash
  • Keep a job file of all papers relating to your project
  • Read What You Should Know Before You Hire a Contractor


Please be aware of the following solicitations:

  • Door-to-Door Solicitations: A solicitor offers to do roofing, painting or paving work at a reduced price. Once payment is made, little or no work is done and the project is abandoned.
  • High Pressure Sales: An unscrupulous contractor pushes for an immediate decision about work, which makes it impossible for the homeowner to get competitive bids, check licenses or review references.
  • Scare Tactics : A deceitful contractor offers to perform a free inspection, then claims that faulty wiring bad plumbing, or a leaky roof put the homeowner in peril. The alarmed homeowner agrees to unnecessary and over-priced work.
  • Demand for Cash: A contractor demands cash payments, sometimes going so far as to drive the victim to the bank to withdraw funds. With money in hand, the unscrupulous operator takes the money and runs.
  • Illegally Large Down Payments: A dishonest contractor takes more for a down payment than is allowed by law, claiming to need instant cash for supplies and to pay workers. By law, a down payment cannot exceed 10% of the project price or $1,000, whichever is less.
  • Verbal Agreements: A contractor states that a written contract is unnecessary promising to deliver on the verbal agreement. The shady operator takes advantage of the situation to perform shoddy work or none.

Additional Resources