With many of our winter residents returning to their Arizona homes, some are finding damage due to weather. As a result, residents are seeking out contractors to repair these damages. Apache Junction Police Department (AJPD) would like to remind all of our residents to thoroughly research the contractors before you hire them or any money is exchanged. The Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ROC) has created a list to guide and protect consumers from becoming a victim of unsavory business practices.
Chief Thomas E. Kelly encourages all community members searching for a contractor to follow these 10 tips put out by the ROC:
- Verify the Contractor is Licensed: Verify the contractor is licensed and has the correct license for your specific project by going to www.azroc.gov and using the contractor search to look up the business name, individual’s name, or any license number provided. The contractor’s license should be current and in good standing on the day the contract is signed.
- Confirm Employment: Confirm that the person providing the bid is an authorized representative of the licensed contractor by calling the contractor’s number listed on the ROC license.
- Three Bids: Ensure you don’t pay too much for the project by getting three bids for licensed contractors.
- References: Verify references of recent jobs from each bidder. These jobs should be for work similar to your planned project.
- Subcontractor List: Obtain a list of all subcontractors that will be used on your project and make sure these contractors are also properly licensed.
- Everything in Writing: Obtain and keep a written copy of all contracts, change orders and receipts. State law (A.R.S. 32-1158) requires contracts for jobs costing more than $1,000 to provide specific information about the project (e.g. a description of the work, a completion date, deposit amount, progress payment schedule, total cost and the consumer’s right to file a complaint with the ROC).
- Payment Schedule: Make sure your contract includes a payment schedule based on work completed, and don’t make payments ahead of this agreed upon schedule. Don’t make the final payment until you are satisfied with the work and have received confirmation that all liens have been released. Protect yourself!
- Building Permits: Make sure the contract spells out who is responsible to pay for and obtain any required building permits.
- Don’t Pay Cash: Never pay in cash so that you have proof of payment should a dispute arise.Make checks payable to the licensed contractor (not an individual).
- Workers’ Compensation: Confirm that all workers used are protected by workers’ compensation.