5 Facts You Should Know About Unlicensed Home Improvement Contractors
Hiring the right contractor to replace your roof or take care of any other major renovations to your home is a big decision. There are a lot of factors to consider beyond price. Chances are, you’ll always find someone who will do the work for less money, but what will it cost you in the end? Inferior craftsmanship, low quality customer service or worse…
- It’s Illegal! In the State of Maryland, home improvement contractors, subcontractors and sales people must have an MHIC license. Chances are if they don’t have one, they don’t have insurance either!
- Unlicensed contractors will drive a vehicle without a posted MHIC number or may use a fake number. Visit DLLR online to verify a contractor’s number.
- An MHIC license can be revoked because of poor workmanship, failure to complete jobs, criminal activity or other violations. Some contractors may attempt to use an expired or revoked license, be sure to verify with the MHIC.
- Elderly homeowners are especially vulnerable to unlicensed contractors. They love to pull “bait and switch” scams, quoting a low price and then demanding more money later.
- Often times unlicensed contractors are from out of state, making it difficult to recover money or stolen items.
Homeowners Need to Do Their Homework!
Before you hire a home improvement contractor, do your homework. Here are some easy steps you can take to make sure you won’t be the next unlicensed contractor horror story:
- Ask to see every contractor’s MHIC license and then check to make sure it is current. Check online or call DLLR at 888-218-5925.
- Ask to have a contractor’s current General Liability AND Workman’s Compensation insurance certificate sent to you. (Did you know that if you hire an uninsured contractor and they get hurt on your property YOU are on the hook for their medical expenses??!! If they damage your property there is no insurance to fix it)
- Look at the contractor’s rating with the BBB.
- Read online reviews and ask for local references. Follow up to find out if the work was on time, on budget and whether or not they would hire the contractor again. Read Fichtner Services Reviews on Facebook, Google, Angie’s List and Yellowpages.com.
- How long has the contractor been in business? Are they going to be around in 5 years in case something goes wrong?
- Always get a contract in writing.
Whether you need a new roof, new siding, replacement windows or more, Fichtner Services is there for you. We are proud to be named “Best Roofing” company in Annapolis by the readers of The Capital for the fifth year in a row. We take pride in our reputation and the fact that 75% of our business is from repeat customers and referrals.