Information on Selecting a Contractor according the the Mass DPS

The following information is from the Mass.gov website office of Public Safety and is reproduced here for the convenience of the reader. Please go to http://www.mass.gov/eopss/consumer-prot-and-bus-lic/license-type/csl/information-on-selecting-a-contractor.html to read the original content.

Recommendations for the Building Owner When Selecting a Contractor to Perform Work on an Existing Home or to Construct a New Home
Before you enter into any written agreement to construct a new home or to remodel or build an addition onto an existing home

  1. Ensure that the Contractor is appropriately licensed and is a Licensed Construction Supervisor and/or a Registered Home Improvement Contractor.
  2. Ensure that the contractor has adequate liability insurance and workers compensation insurance.
  3. Ask the contractor for a written list of his/her three most recent projects with names, telephone numbers and addresses of the owners.
  4. Call the owners and ask questions as to the performance of the contractor.
  5. Check with your local better business bureau, the Board of Building Regulations and Standards and the Office of the Attorney General to find out whether the contractor has any complaints filed against the contractor or whether or not any disciplinary action has been taken against the contractor.

Once you have selected a contractor and before you sign any agreement or contract;

  1. Do not enter into any construction agreements without a written contract. Before signing a contract make sure that your attorney reviews the contract.
  2. Ensure that you authorize the contractor to apply for the building permit as your agent. Registered Home Improvement Contractors are required by law to apply for all building permits which are subject to the Home Improvement Registration Law.

The BBRS strongly cautions building owners against applying for their own building permit . Reputable contractors will apply for the permit, acting as the owner’s agent and with the owner’s written authority. Only a HIC Registrant may apply for a building permit for work covered by the program. Your contractor may need BOTH the license AND the registration depending upon the type of work being performed. If a contractor is reluctant to apply for the building permit on your behalf it may be an indication that the contractor does not possess a license or a registration.

Click here to check a Construction Supervisor License

Click here to check a Home Improvement Contractor Registration

Remember for home improvement work covered by Chapter 142A of the General Laws you are EXCLUDED from reimbursement of up to $10,000 from the guaranty fund if you apply for your own building permit or if you do business with an unregistered contractor.

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