The following is summarized from “Home Improvement Without Headaches” posted on the State of Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection’s website: https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/DCP/pdf/factsheets/HICfactsheet2010pdf.pdf?la=en
HIRING A HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR
The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) recommends the following steps when hiring a home improvement contractor:
HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTS
Home improvement contracts must be in writing, along with all contract modifications. The contract must be signed by both the contractor and the homeowner and include start and completion dates for the project. It should also include notice of the homeowner’s right to cancel within three business days (which includes Saturdays). The homeowner should plan a payment schedule to the contractor in accordance to the progress of the work and include it in the contract. Homeowners should not pay the entire amount, or a large advance payment, of the project costs before work is started. Otherwise, the homeowner will have more to lose if the contractor fails to complete the job.
HOW TO REGISTER A COMPLAINT
To file a complaint, write to:
Department of Consumer Protection, Complaint Center
450 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford, CT 06106.
Complaints will be reviewed to determine if DCP can help. Connecticut homeowners can also contact the Remodeling Contractors Association:(www.narict.org/) which processes complaints against member firms and tries to mediate disputes. Homeowners may also wish to consult their attorneys. Small Claims Court can be used for claims up to $5,000.
HOME IMPROVEMENT GUARANTY FUND
Homeowners who are unable to get money returned from contractors may be eligible to receive money from the Home Improvement Guaranty Fund: https://portal.ct.gov/DCP/Common-Elements/Consumer-Facts-and-Contacts/Home-Improvement-Guaranty-Fund. The following criteria must be met:
Eligible homeowners can recover actual damages, court costs and attorneys’ fees from the Guaranty Fund, as ordered in a court judgment, up to $15,000. Attorney fees are payable only if your court judgment includes the attorney fees in the awarded amount.
TO FIND PROVIDERS IN CONNECTICUT’S COMMUNITY RESOURCES DATABASE: Search by service name: Contractor Complaints
SOURCES: State of Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection website;Remodeling Contractors Association website
PREPARED BY: 211/pt
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: August2018