Consumer Tips for Home Repairs - My9 New Jersey

Consumer Tips for Home Repairs

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MY9TV.COM- Read below for tips from Governor Christie, Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa and the State Division of Consumer Affairs on home improvements after Super Storm Sandy. Please follow the these tips for your protection.

Tips for Consumers, When Hiring a Contractor:

  • Beware of fly-by-night opportunists who may have come in from out of state -- or those who may live locally but lack the skills and honesty you need for a significant repair job. In addition, learn whether the contractor is properly registered with the Division of Consumer Affairs.
  • Call the Division at 800-242-5846 to learn whether the contractor is duly registered, and whether the business has been the subject of consumer complaints. You can also check the Division's online listing of legal filings to learn whether the business has been the subject of legal action by the Division.
  • Consumers can also utilize the New Jersey "Professional License Lookup" app, available free of charge from the Division of Consumer Affairs, to check the registration or licensing status of home improvement contractors and licensed professionals.
  • Before hiring a contractor, demand a copy of the contractor's liability insurance policy, and contact the insurer to make sure the policy is valid.
  • It is customary not to pay for the entire home improvement project in advance. The general rule of thumb is to pay no more than one-third beforehand, one-third halfway through, and one-third upon completion.
  • Never give your credit card number or financial information to strangers over the phone or on the Internet.
  • The law requires a written contract for home improvement work in excess of $500. The contract should include detailed information, such as start and completion dates, all work to be performed and the specific products to be used.
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