Here’s how to protect yourself from transient contractors:
- Ask any contractor you might hire for his contractor’s license. Make sure it permits the worker to do the kind of repairs you’re hiring him for.
- Find out whether the license is valid by visiting www.azroc.gov. You can search for your contractor by name. If you don’t find the name on the list, don’t hire that contractor.
- Get a written contract for the work.
- Agree only to a minimum down payment, and then pay in increments as the job progresses.
- Ask the contractor to provide construction insurance—or buy it yourself.
Not every gypsy contractor is from out of state. In this poor economy, out-of-work Arizonans are trying to pick up jobs wherever they can. But if they work without a license, they’re committing a Class 1 misdemeanor and could spend six months in jail, pay $2,500 in fines and lose the right to become licensed for a year.
Don’t be a party to it. Hire licensed, qualified contractors from trusted sources like Rosie’s Referral Network. You may pay a few extra bucks for hiring honest help, but it will save you worry, risk and, potentially, the expense of replacing shoddy work later.