Home Repairs

What to KnowWhat to Do
  • Get more than one estimate on the job you want done. Don’t choose a contractor based only on price, and keep in mind that the lowest bid is not always the best.
  • Look at the contractors’ recent and past work if you can. Check their legal history online to see if they’ve been sued by former clients. You can check here.
  • Do not use a finance company that is recommended by the contractor; keep those separate to avoid conflict of interest. And have an attorney review any finance agreement or loan before you sign.
  • Go to www.elicense.ct.gov to verify that the contractor is registered and to see if the Department has any complaints against them or their company.
  • Verify that the contractor has the appropriate level of worker’s compensation and liability insurance. You can check this through the Better Business Bureau.
  • Get a detailed, written quote and contract that includes start date, end date, work to be done, materials to be used, and price.
  • Include in the contract a payment schedule that corresponds to the progress of the work. Agree to pay in stages, such as 1/3 up front, 1/3 when the work is half done, and 1/3 when everything is finished to your satisfaction.
  • Beware if a contractor asks for all the money up front or wants a very large down payment. He may be in financial trouble, or he may be a scammer who doesn’t intend to do any work at all.
  • Never pay in cash. Get a detailed receipt for all of your payments and keep them.
  • Make sure that you or your contractor applies to your town for all necessary building permits.
If you are a homeowner who has had unsatisfactory home improvement work done on your home and the contractor has not corrected the faulty workmanship, the Home Improvement Guaranty Fund may be a good way to receive some of the money that you are owed. A homeowner may be eligible for up to $15,000 from the Fund if they hired a registered home improvement contractor and the resulting problem meets certain criteria.