SEARCHING FOR A CONTRACTOR?

THEN KNOW THIS..

 

Selecting a Home Improvement Contractor is an important personal decision that should not be taken lightly.

 

Before choosing, you should consider many important qualifications including, but not limited to:

  • Reputation.

  • Workmanship.

  • Adherence to State and Federal Regulations.

 

The purpose of this page is to highlight State and Federal Regulations that govern New Jersey Home Improvement professionals.

NEW JERSEY CONTRACTOR REGULATIONS

  • The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act is designed to protect you from misrepresentation, fraud, and deception in consumer transactions, including contracts for home improvement work.

 

  • The Contractors' Registration Act requires home improvement contractors to register with the State of New Jersey.

 

  • Only registered contractors are permitted to perform home improvement work in New Jersey and obtain construction permits from local municipalities.

 

  • Registered contractors are required to:
    1. Carry a minimum of $500,000 in commercial general liability insurance.
    2. Disclose a legitimate business address.
    3. Display the registration number on all contracts, advertisements, and commercial vehicles as a reference for consumers.
    4. Provide you with proof of insurance.
    5. Provide a contract for all work over $500.00.
    6. Include certain mandatory wording and content in the contract.

 

  • Worker's Compensation. NJ law mandates that all employees shall be covered for accidents in the workplace under Title 34, Chapter 15, Articles 1 to 10, Inclusive (R.S. 34:15 - 1 to R.S. 34:15 - 142) as amended and supplemented. 

 

  • On October 1, 2014, the law requiring home elevation contractors to register with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, became effective.  For more information visit the NJ Department of Consumer Affairs Home Improvement Contractor page at www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/HIC

 

  • THIS LAW IS NOT YET IN EFFECT.  A new law (P.L. 2013, c.144, N.J.S.A. 56:8-138.1) was recently passed that will require home improvement contractors to display State-issued identification badges when performing or engaging or attempting to engage in the business of selling home improvements in this State. Consistent with this law, the Division intends to amend the home improvement contractor registration rules in the future to require an individual acting on behalf of a registered home improvement contractor business to wear a badge when engaged in the sales of home improvements.

 

photo of a worried man Avoid becoming a victim..only consider registered contractors

 

 

DID YOU KNOW..

 

Of the top 10 complaints received by the New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs in 2015,

Home Improvement Contractor complaints ranked #1.

 

In 2014, Home Improvement complaints ranked #1.

In 2013, Home Improvement complaints ranked #1.

In 2012, Home Improvement complaints ranked #2, just behind Hurricane Sandy ripoffs.

In 2011, Home Improvement complaints ranked #1.

In 2010, Home Improvement complaints ranked #2..

 

Now, more than ever, you should only consider contractors that are registered and insured.

 

 

 

 

 

IS THE WORK TAXABLE IN NEW JERSEY?

 

It depends on whether the work is considered a capital improvement, maintenance, or repair, under the laws of the State of New Jersey.  To view the bulletin titled "Sales Tax and Home Improvements" issued by the New Jersey Division of Taxation Click Here

 

DOES THE WORK REQUIRE LOCAL PERMITS?

 

For answers to frequently asked questions about construction permits, view the FAQ page at NJPERMITS.COM.  Click Here

 

FEDERAL CONTRACTOR REGULATIONS

  • Federal law requires contractors that disturb painted surfaces in homes, child care facilities and schools, built before 1978 to be certified and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.

 



  • Federal law requires that individuals receive certain information before renovating six square feet or more of painted surfaces in a room for interior projects or more than twenty square feet of painted surfaces for exterior projects or window replacement or demolition in housing, child care facilities and schools built before 1978

 

  • Homeowners and tenants must receive the "Renovate Right" pamphlet before a renovator starts the work.

 

  • Child care facilities, including preschools and kindergarten classrooms, and the families of children under six years of age that attend those facilities: renovators must provide a copy of the "Renovate Right" pamphlet to child care facilities and general renovation information to families whose children attend those facilities.

 

 

IMPORTANT LINKS

  • For information about hiring Home Improvement Contractors, read the consumer brief prepared by the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs.  View page.
  • To view a copy of the "Renovate Right" brochure published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)   View page.

 

PHONE CONTACTS

  • For information about contractors and the contractors' registration act, contact the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, Division of Consumer Affairs at 1-888-656-6225.
  • To get general information about lead poisoning prevention contact The National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD(5323).

 

IN SUMMARY

 

The Federal and State Laws cited above exist for your protection.  Compliance with these regulations is mandatory for all home improvement professionals doing business in the U.S. and the State of New Jersey.

 

It is important to recognize that there are significant costs associated with each of the following mandatory requirements that we comply with:

  • General Liability Insurance.
  • Worker’s Compensation Insurance.
  • State and Federal Payroll Taxes.
  • Commercial Vehicle Insurance & Registration.
  • Contractor Registration.
  • Lead-Paint Registration, Education, and Renovation Procedures.
  • Income Taxes.

These added costs are absorbed by a compliant contractor and avoided by an unregistered contractor.  Please keep this in mind as you seek bids for your home improvement project.  A project cost estimate from a registered contractor will generally be higher than a quote from an unqualified contractor, due to the added costs of compliance.

 

“Let the buyer beware” and “you get what you pay for” are highly accurate statements as it relates to contractor selection.  If you retain an unregistered contractor, you will forfeit your protection under the consumer laws.  So beware.  It is a risky and unwise decision that may ultimately cost you time, aggravation, and a lot more money in the end.

 

View "NJ: Did one of these 62 contractors rip you off this year?" at 101.5.com.