Choosing a Contractor
Estimates & Proper Licensing
The Town of Coventry Building Department recommends you obtain a minimum of three estimates before choosing a contractor for your project. Always ask for the estimate in writing, stating all services to be performed.
Make sure the contractor and any subcontractors are registered and/or licensed with the State of Connecticut. Types of registration include home improvement contractor and new home construction and types of license include electrical, plumbing, HVAC, etc. The State Department of Consumer Protection has a website where you may check a registration or license, and also, inquire about complaint information against the contractor, they may also be reached at 860-713-6000 or 1-800-842-2649.
Be sure to discuss with the contractor who will be responsible for obtaining the necessary permits. You may call us to inquire if a permit has been issued. You should obtain a copy of the permit from the contractor for your own records.
By State of Connecticut laws the contract must be in writing and include the following information:
- Today's date
- Contractor's name and address
- Start and completion dates
- The entire statement of agreement and any modifications or changes
- Contractor's / salesperson's signature and date signed
- Homeowner's signature and date signed
- Cancellation Language - Two notices
The first notice should be near the homeowner's signature and can be a statement such as "You, the buyer, may cancel at any time prior to midnight of the third business day after the date of this transaction. See the attached notice of cancellation for explanation of this right." Please note, Saturday is a legal business day in Connecticut.
The second notice must be a complete notice of cancellation.
You must be given a copy of the completed contract at the time of signing.
There are two types of insurance contractors and subcontractors should have:
- Liability insurance addresses property damage. (No legal requirements in Connecticut to carry liability insurance)
- Workers' Compensation (Not needed if sole proprietor)
Ask for a copy of the current insurance certificate.
The State of Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection recommends consumers not give contractors cash advances nor agree to large up-front payments. The discussion of payment is between the consumer and the contractor. A good way to be fair to both the consumer and the contractor is to agree on a payment schedule that roughly parallels the progress of the work.
The contract, insurance, and payment schedule are excerpts from the Connecticut Home improvement Contractor, published by the State of Connecticut, Department of Consumer Protection, October, 1997. The information contained on these web pages is subject to change without notice. This is intended to be a guide only. There will be circumstances where information will be required which will not be listed.