Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Aug 16, 2013

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Every state requires that builders and contractors receive proper licensing to work in their state. This licensing allows the state to keep track of the builders and contractors to make sure they are following local law. This same contractor’s state license board can also be helpul to homeowners in their relationships with contractors.

Contacting the Contractor’s State License Board Before Hiring the Contractor

Go to your local contractor’s state license board and verify that the contractor you are considering hiring is licensed in your state. More importantly, make sure that the contractor is bonded. A bond is a large sum of money held in trust by an insurance company should the contractor make any mistakes that require repayment. A contractor that is licensed and bonded will be able to repay any damages done to your property.

While you are verifying the licensing and bond status, also verify that the contractor has a clean record. If the contractor has been working for many years with no complaints filed, then you know he is a good choice. If the contractor is new or has some complaints, you may want to reconsider using him.

Contacting the Contractor’s State License Board after Hiring the Contractor

If the contractor makes a mistake on your home or fails to complete the work, you can file a complaint with the contractor’s state license board. The contractor’s state license board will then investigate the complaint and may require damages to be paid.

Many of the contractors’ state licensing boards also offer mediation services to resolve disputes between the contractor and homeowner. If you are still unable to obtain compensation after exhausting all the licensing board’s options, you can file a legal claim.