The Billings Outpost

Avoid fly-by-night contractors

HELENA – As construction season heads into fall, the Montana Department of Labor and Industry wants to remind businesses and homeowners to use caution when choosing a contractor.
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.
Also, verify the contractor is registered with the state of Montana and check with the State Construction Contractor Registration Unit to be sure that the contractor is in compliance.
Other tips:
• 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.

Copyright 2012 Wild Raspberry Inc.

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