Building Permits Either the homeowner or the contractor may take out whatever building permits are necessary in your town. However, building permits are ultimately the homeowner’s responsibility. Thus, if your contractor tells you that he or she has taken care of the permits but has failed to do this, you are still responsible. Verify with your local building official that all permits are in place.
Waiver of Lien Rights Any subcontractor or supplier hired by your contractor may file a lien in court against your property if the contractor fails to pay him or her. So if you have a $10,000 job and have paid the contractor the full amount but he fails to pay the individual suppliers or subcontractors who worked on your home, the subcontractors or suppliers may fi le a lien against your property. You, the homeowner, must then appear and defend yourself against the claim! To avoid such situations, you may want to have each supplier and subcontractor sign a waiver of lien rights against your property. You may want to discuss this with your attorney.
Certificate of Completion Do not sign a certificate of completion or make your final payment until you are sure that everything in the contract is done. Be sure all suppliers and subcontractors have been paid; the work has been finished to your satisfaction, and is approved by your local building official, if applicable.
Guarantees and Warranties Workmanship warranties are usually good only if in writing, and the writing is only as good as the contractor behind it. Be sure to check for written warranties on materials (e.g., new windows), and be sure you keep them in a safe place.
What to Do if You Have a Complaint Write to the Department of Consumer Protection Complaint Center, 165 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106. Your complaint will be reviewed to determine whether the agency can help. You may also wish to consult with your attorney. Small Claims Court is another option for claims under $5,000.
The Home Improvement Guaranty Fund State law requires all home improvement contractors and sales people to contribute annually to a Home Improvement Guaranty Fund, maintained by the Department of Consumer Protection to reimburse homeowners meeting certain conditions. Please see our Fact Sheet on The Guaranty Fund for more information.
You may view it or print it from our website at www.ct.gov/dcp. State of Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection 165 Capitol Avenue Hartford, CT 06106 Home Improvement Unit: (860) 713-61 Information Via State of Connecticut Consumer Protection