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Unlicensed Contractors Busted After Bidding on Homes Destroyed by Sandy

Homes Destroyed by Sandy

Unlicensed Contractors were busted after bidding on Homes Destroyed by Sandy.

It was a difficult time for many families last fall after super storm Sandy hit the east coast.  Some families were lucky enough to escape the wrath of Sandy, while others lost everything.  Recently, Governor Cuomo, of NY, extended FEMA funding in an effort to support struggling families during their time of need.  For those who were in a position to rebuild, their first step was to reach out to a general contractor and get a quote on how much it would cost to repair their home.

And handful of contractors proceeded to quote jobs, some as low as $9,000 dollars, and went on to find out that these struggling homeowners were in fact undercover investigators whose main goal was to weed out improperly registered general contractors who were looking to exploit people’s needs after the storm.  The investigation managed to single out 8 home-improvement contractors, who are now facing criminal charges.  Their offense: not registering with the state they had claimed to be insured under.

The investigation began once homeowners started filing complaints.  State officials are now stating that this situation will only continue as time progresses, and work which was performed starts to fall apart.  State laws require that a home improvement contractor register with the division of consumer affairs and in addition to that, provide proof that they have at least $500,000 dollars in liability insurance coverage.  To prevent getting tricked, take into consideration where you find your leads on contractors.  Sites such as craigslist or the yellow pages should provide information on their registration as a licensed contractor.  If you are still skeptical, ask for their registration number and look into it yourself.  Whether you are a homeowner looking for the proper insurance coverage for your property, or a contractor who is still unsure about licensing and liability insurance, be sure to contact one of our professional insurance agents today.  It’s unfortunate that the many homes destroyed by sandy had to deal with other complications, so if there is anything we could do to help, we would be more than happy to assist you.

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Becoming a Home Improvement Contractor

A home improvement contractor by law is defined as someone who is engaged in the construction, repair, remodeling, or addition to any land or building used as a residence. This includes the construction, replacement, or improvement of basements, driveways, fences, garages, landscaping, patios, porches, sidewalks, swimming pools, terraces, and other improvements on land that is next to a home or apartment complex. It is safe to say then that any person engaging in these types of work would need a home improvement contractor license.

H0me Improvement Contractor License

Besides obtaining a home improvement contractor license, there are several other permits, licenses and clearances which you may need. Any soliciting, negotiation or offers to negotiate a home improvement contract with a property owner requires a Home Improvement Salesperson license. Work which involves sidewalks and walkways require a permit from the NYC department of Transportation. For more information on obtaining this permit you may call 311 or visit New York City DOT. If you however, are interested in doing work which involves plumbing, electrical work, pointing, or extensions you must contact the NYC department of Buildings. This type of work often requires special inspection and as such requires more regulation. Finally, any home improvement contractor looking to transport any harmful waste as a result of work done must apply for a Class one Self Hauler Registration from the NYC business integrity commission.

These are just some of the preliminary steps necessary to be taken if you are interested in becoming a home improvement contractor but it doesn’t end here. Each and every contractor should consider multiple layers of insurance to protect themselves and their businesses. Contact us today for more information on how you can insure your newly established home improvement contracting business.

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The Different Types of General Contractor Licenses

Licensing for General Contractors can vary by state and tier.  There are different types of classes for general contractor licenses which depend on the type of construction work or contract value.  Each state has its own requirements, sometimes for the number of years a contractor has been in the field, or whether or not you work with hazardous materials.

Becoming a Licensed Contractor

Tests for General contractors happen on a quarterly basis, with most of the material for exam and test preparation being available both online, and at your local library.  Information for the test differs among all the different states and testing fees range from around $100 to $300 for the first test, as well as fingerprinting and document fees.  Annual renewal fees range from $30 to $300 dollars.  On top of all of this, Workers compensation insurance is also required before the final licensing.

General Building Contractor

A general Building contractor does a little bit of everything.  Demolition, construction, and repair are all areas of his focus.  People who supply materials are not able to apply for this license but Framers and Carpenters can.  General contractors have the ability to subcontract any work as needed.

General Engineering Contractor

Any type of work that requires special engineering knowledge must have an engineering contractor license.  The type of license covers work in the area of water piping, chemical, or utilities.  It is also required of work done near schools, chemical plants, and sewage pipelines.  Proper knowledge of concrete work, rough and finish carpentry, masonry, electrical and heating, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, or HVAC is necessary to obtain this license.

Specialty Contractor

Most states categorize contractors into one of sixteen specialties.  Dangerous construction, like high-rise glazing, elevator or hazardous substance removal also have classifications.  States with a high volume of contractors provide a separation of residential home improvements.  These contractors focus on small residential jobs.

Contractors insurance is something very specific and involved.  There are many different types of contracting licenses available.  That is why the projects needs must be assessed before figuring out which type of licensing is required.

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