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How To Find Out if Your Contractor is Licensed

Some of the biggest problems with contractors can be easily avoided by simply checking out the contractor first and making sure that youre hiring a reputable, well established and professional contractor.

While most states license electrical and plumbing contractors, only 36 states have some type of licensing and registration statutes affecting contractors, remodelers, and/or specialty contractors. The licensing can range from simple registration to a detailed qualification process.

Also, the licensing requirements in one locality may be different from the requirements in the rest of the state.

Check with your local building department or consumer protection agency to find out about licensing requirements in your area. If your state has licensing laws, ask to see the contractors license and make sure that its current.

Since not all states require licensing you may have no choice in hiring an unlicensed contractor. This can still work out if you know what you are doing and he knows what hes doing. The license doesnt necessarily mean you get expertise, but it does mean you get leverage.

A contractor will right his wrongs to avoid losing his license.

You can also check out the contractor with your local consumer protection officials. They can tell you if there are any unresolved consumer complaints on file, however, even if there arent any complaints on record it doesnt necessarily mean that there arent any previous problems. It may be that problems exist but havent been reported or another possibility could be that the contractor is doing business under several different names.

but checking anyway doesnt hurt.

If the contractor doesnt have a phone number listed in the local telephone directory that might be a red flag and should definitely warrant further investigation. Reputable, well established contractors are usually at least listed in the phone directory and many also have websites as well although not having a website is NOT an indication that a contractor isnt professional and well established but an unlisted phone is certainly questionable.

I found this really great contractors license reference site that is very useful:

For any state that requires a contractor or tradesman to be licensed they will keep records of the license and this site has direct links to every states contractors licensing board. So you could easily call or go online and check out if a contractor is licensed or not.

There are a lot of really great licensed contractors out there so hopefully with a little homework youll have no problems finding the perfect one for you and your remodeling project.


About the Author (text)Rebecca Noel is a licensed real estate agent and real estate investor. Find out insider information that will save you $1000\'s on materials and help you get your remodeling projects done weeks faster at

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