Check to see if an individual or business is licensed before they do business for you.
If you have a home improvement project in your future, you must make sure the person you hire is licensed by the Maryland Home Improvement Commission. The Commission regulates contractors and the sales force involved with the home improvement industry, including remodels and repairs.
It may be tempting to hire an unlicensed contractor who delivers a cheaper estimate, but if the home improvement repair goes wrong, you have few options for recovery.
Also, consider that a licensed contractor must have at least two years of experience and is required to pass a licensing exam. Your properly licensed contractor understands how to get the job done with the correct permits and on time, all conditions of his licensing.
Part of being a professional involves carrying $50,000 in liability insurance to protect everyone from bodily injury and personal and property damage that could occur during the home improvement.
No one expects problems to occur, but large-scale projects can come with potential dangers on-site. Additionally, when it comes time to sell your home, the fact that your home improvement had the correct permits pulled and the work done up to code will make selling your home that much more hassle-free.
Why Proper Licensing is Important
You undergo a home improvement project, but unfortunately, the roof leaked, and the leak ruined your floors.
In Maryland, if your contractor is licensed, the Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC) will investigate any complaint filed by the homeowner and prosecute those contractors who violate the home improvement laws. The homeowner could be awarded monetary damages against the contractor.
The fund has the ability to reimburse homeowners due to poor workmanship or a failure to fulfill a home improvement contract. It only applies to work done by a licensed contractor.
A homeowner can be awarded up to $20,000 for poor workmanship.
Builders should acquire a construction license. Out-of-state contractors should obtain a nonresident construction license. Maryland eliminated subcontractor licensing in July 2016. A subcontractor must work under an MHIC licensed contractor.
Most home improvements do require the licensing of contractors. Here are a few examples of common home improvements:
Home Improvements where a License is Required:
Installing patios and retaining walls
Installing a pole building
Install a movable shed
For the installation of solar panels, regardless of whether they are on the home or an outbuilding
Tree experts and trimmers are licensed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Roof work or installation
Installing a central vacuum system
Installing tile, wood, or other flooring is considered a home improvement
Home Improvements where a License is Not Required:
Demolition and cleanup of a property
For the installation of carpeting, for example, a license is not required
Installing a wall-mounted television is not considered a home improvement so no license is required
https://www.dllr.state.md.us/pq/ or call the Maryland Department of Labor to verify the license status of any contractor at (410) 230-6231.
To confirm that your potential contractor's business license is in good standing, please visit:
If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 240-825-5333.