ADVICE FROM THE PROS
Protect your home and your pocket from the risks associated with unlicensed contractors. Here are ten key facts you should be aware of:
1. In Maryland, operating as a home improvement contractor or salesperson without an MHIC license is illegal.
2. Some unlicensed contractors might have a criminal background or even be on probation.
3. Each year, Maryland residents lose millions to scams by unlicensed home improvement contractors.
4. There's a risk of paying for incomplete or unnecessary work with unlicensed contractors.
5. Elderly homeowners are often the prime targets for these fraudsters.
6. A significant number of these contractors are from other states, making it challenging to recover funds or stolen items.
7. Be wary of suspiciously low quotes; they may demand more later or use bait-and-switch tactics.
8. Just because a contractor claims to be "Licensed and Bonded" doesn’t guarantee authenticity. Note that bonding companies usually don't provide performance bonds for residential tasks.
9. Always verify the MHIC number displayed on a contractor's vehicle with the MHIC itself to ensure it's valid and matches the contractor.
10. Some may have lost their MHIC license previously due to poor work quality, incomplete tasks, or legal violations.
GUIDELINES TO SAFEGUARD YOUR HOME IMPROVEMENT EXPERIENCE
1. Request the contractor's MHIC license and verify its authenticity online or by calling 1-888-218-5925 (toll-free) or 410-230-6231 (Baltimore area).
2. Obtain a current general liability insurance certificate from the contractor.
3. Secure local references. Engage with the references to gain insights about the contractor's performance, responsiveness, and reliability.
4. If the contractor will be on your premises, ask for a current worker's compensation insurance certificate.
5. Avoid seemingly overly generous offers. What looks like a great deal might lead to more expensive fixes later. Think twice before rushing into urgent repairs.
6. Ensure your contractor commits to securing all necessary permits if your project demands them.
7. Clearly define all material choices in a written contract. Seek legal advice if you're uncertain about the contract's content.
8. As a rule of thumb, only pay a deposit of up to 1/3 of the total cost.
9. Maintain a record of all project-related documents and payments.
The Benefits of Hiring an MHIC-Licensed Contractor
In sum, partnering with an MHIC-licensed contractor offers homeowners a blend of quality, protection, and peace of mind, especially with the added benefits of the recession period and the Guaranty Fund.
TRANSFORM YOUR BACKYARD
At Custom Design & Build, we design and build perfect spaces for outdoor living with every feature our clients can dream of. From breathtaking decks that invite you to unwind under the sun, to stone patios that beckon you to enjoy al fresco dining, pergolas that create a haven of shade and charm, and outdoor kitchens that redefine culinary experiences, our work is a testament to our unwavering commitment to creating remarkable outdoor spaces.
Custom Design & Build LLC is a licensed and insured, full-service provider of complete outdoor living spaces in Central Maryland and Southern Pennsylvania. We build decks, stone patios, pergolas, outdoor kitchens, and hard scapes We guide you through the design and build process and help you create your own personal masterpiece.
Call Us 443-616-1459