Posted by: Jeffrey Fick | February 28, 2009

Selecting a Contractor: Is the company a licensed, registered contractor, and a member in good standing of a trade association?

The (MHIC) Maryland Home Improvement Commission requires ALL conatractors that work in the state of Maryland to be licensed and insured.

Automatically reject any contractor who is not licensed.

However, do not be fooled by a contractor with a license.   Be forewarned that some contractors use their license as a way to legitimize themselves. The license requirements in the state of Maryland are minimal; all you have to do is have $50K insurance, pay a $225 fee and take an open book test. That’s what “fully licensed and insured” means!  On top of that, the law is generally poorly enforced.    So as a consumer you have to be careful that you do your due diligence and check everyone out.

A better test is to question the contractor’s commitment to his trade. Is he a member of the trade association?

  • Call the association and verify the answer. Ask if the contractor is taking Continuing Education Training, similar to other up-to-date professionals.
  • Ask to see certificates.
  • A contractor that is an ACTIVE member of his trade association is a contractor that is committed to his industry and staying on top of the latest installation methods. 

A professional contractor will be only to happy to respond to these questions.

  • Be VERY cautious of a contractor who blows off your questions as not being important. There are probably a lot of other issues he deems unimportant and will blow off, maybe one being your satisfaction.
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