Know Your Rights As A Consumer
The Illinois Public Act 91-230, also known as the Illinois Home Repair and Remodeling Act, is designed to protect consumers from potential scams and misunderstandings relating to home remodeling and repair. It requires anyone engaging in the business of home repair and remodeling work over $1,000 to provide a copy of the “Home Repair: Know Your Consumer Rights” pamphlet to its customers prior to the execution of any home repair and remodeling contract. The consumer shall sign and date an acknowledgment form entitled “Consumer Rights Acknowledgment Form”.
More information about the Illinois Home Repair and Remodeling Act can be found at The Illinois Attorney General website.
The Importance And Value Of Permits
Not every remodeling job will require a permit, however most projects that involve structural work or change to the plumbing or electrical of a home, do. Building codes vary by jurisdiction though most cities and towns require permits for construction work.
Another reason permits are important is because homeowner’s insurance companies typically frown upon unpermitted remodeling work. If the proper permits required by your city/town or county haven’t been pulled, chances are slim that they’ll be willing to cover any claim you might make if trouble occurs.
The National Association of the Remodeling Industry, NARI, says that consumers should expect a contractor they hire to obtain a permit for the job. A competent contractor should know what inspections and permits are needed, if any, and be able and willing to pull them for you before starting work. It’s a good idea to select a contract who is already familiar with the permitting process in your area.
The Importance Of Hiring A Licensed Contractor
Contractor licensing requirements vary from state to state, but you need to make sure contractor is credentialed or licensed to performed the specific jog you are hiring them for. For instance, a contractor with only a credentials / licencing to do plumbing work should not work on your roof. You could be at risk of being fined or endanger the safety of your home if you have unlicensed or improperly licensed contractors working on your home.
The HomeAdvisor website provides contractor licensing requirements for each state. You can also visit the Contractors License Reference Site and verify whether or not a particular contractor is licensed.
The Importance Of Hiring A Properly Insured Contractor
Although most consumers know to ask the obvious questions of potential contractors, fewer people know to check whether a contractor has the proper insurance. A contractor should have liability insurance that covers property damage, as well as workers’ compensation. Having the right insurance is very important. Don’t be afraid to ask to if you can see their certifications of insurance so that you can verify both that the contractor has the right types of insurance and that it covers the kind of work they will be doing for you.
How To Choose A Contractor
An excellent contractor will:
- Know what permits, if any, are required and pull them for you.
- Have the proper insurance for the job you are hiring them to do.
- Be able to provide a portfolio of past jobs that showcases the quality of their work.
- Include a quality warranty.
- Have positive reviews from previous clients that they can direct you to.
- Possess a reputation for completing projects on time, within budget and as expected.