Get the Scoop on Contractors Before You Hire Them

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Planning on a remodel, or looking for a good electrician? Getting any type of construction work performed on your home can be inconvenient, time consuming, and costly. The idea of someone coming in and tearing down walls and busting pipes can be slightly nerve racking. Or perhaps you need someone to build your future home, or business space. These can all be very personal and expensive products that you want to make sure are being handled by the right people. Although you can look at advertising or receive recommendations, sometimes doing a little research on your own will make you feel even more comfortable about hiring a contractor.

Using public records search resources can be very helpful in this matter. You can check a company’s business records and even contractor records. While business records are an effective way of validating the existence of the company and its owners, contractor records often provide even more detailed information, specifically related to the construction industry.

Important pieces of information that can be found by performing contractor license searches include license verification, status of license (i.e. disciplinary actions and infractions), proof of workers compensation coverage, and bonding and insurance information. You may even be able to find details such as the amount of their insurance coverage, the date received and expiring, as well as the name of the insurance company. It can help you rest easy if you know a contractor’s bonding and insurance information. If you are thinking of using a contractor who is insured up to $25,000, but you would like to hire him for a job worth $100,000.00, this is definitely something to consider. If there is a problem on the job, then the contractor’s insurance may not be enough to cover whatever he/she is liable for.

Contractor licenses are generally managed by some sort of state agency which regulates labor or business. This will vary by state. For example, in Washington State, contractor licensing is manage by the Washington State Departments of Labor and Industries. Whereas, in California, contractor licensing is the responsibility of the a License Board located within the Department of Consumer Affairs. Since locations of these records will vary by state, it is much easier to use a resource such as The Free Public Records Directory. If you click on your state of interest, you will find links and contact information for either online records searches, or direct links to the agency responsible for these records.

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