Sandy Cleanup Contractor Tips

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania residents were left without power and with storm cleanup related to fallen trees, power lines and other debris. If you need to hire someone to make repairs to your home or property, Pennsylvania has a law in place to help ensure you are hiring a legitimate contractor, reports State Rep. Jim Cox (R-129)

The Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act of 2008 establishes a mandatory registration program for contractors who offer or perform home improvements in Pennsylvania. It establishes minimum insurance requirements for contractors; requires contractors to provide their registration number in their ads and contracts; establishes required contract terms for home improvement contracts; prohibits unfair business practices; and creates a criminal penalty for home improvement fraud.

The Office of Attorney General also offers these tips to avoid unscrupulous contractors:

Never enter into a repair or improvement project without a written contract that includes a start and finish date and a three-day right-to-cancel notice.

Never sign a blank contract, or one that does not include all the costs and supplies.

Never hire a contractor who does not have a business card or local phone number and address.

Never make final payment until you are completely satisfied with the work performed.

Any good written contract includes the type, quality and warranty of materials to be used and outlines all the financial terms and payment schedules. It also includes a complete description of the work to be done and a guarantee that old materials and debris will be removed.

For more information on hiring a good contractor and avoiding scams, visit www.attorneygeneral.gov/hiccon.aspx.

Sandy Cleanup Contractor Tips

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