Here is a good read when preparing to hire a contractor for your home or business as released by METNET today:
Homeowners & Businesses Should be on the Lookout for Fly-By-Night Contractors
(Helena, MT) As construction season gets into full swing, the Montana Department of Labor and Industry wants to remind businesses and homeowners to use caution when choosing a contractor. "There are a lot of legitimate contractors out there, but it's the fly-by-nighters who come in get their money and leave without doing the work that can devastate a homeowner or business," said Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly. "We want to make sure that Montanans know if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
Warning signs to watch out for include: the contractor will only accept payment in cash; is pressuring you into making a hasty decision, requiring you to pay in full up front, using high pressure sales tactics, arrives in an unmarked car or van, or refuses to give you a written estimate, contract or references.
Here are some tips that both homeowners and businesses can follow when choosing a contractor:
* Verify the contractor is registered with the State of Montana
* Check with the State Construction Contractor Registration Unit to be sure that the contractor is in compliance
* Find out if the contractor belongs to an industry association
* Check for proper insurance (Liability, Workers' Compensation)
* Call references; look at past projects
* Have a contract detailing every aspect of the project including how and when paid
* Communicate. Assure each of you have a complete understanding of expectations
* Visually inspect each part of the project
Consumers who believe they have been scammed by a fly-by-night contractor who has taken their money but not performed the work promised, should contact the Office of Consumer Protection at (800) 481-6896 or (406) 444-4500.
For more information on hiring the right contractor or to find a list of local contractors in your area log onto www.mtcontractor.com or call 406-444-7734.