Homeowners should check contractors’ registration

April 19, 2011

By Staff

The state Department of Labor & Industries is reminding homeowners to watch out for unregistered contractors as spring and summer remodeling projects start.

“When it comes to hiring contractors, the lowest bid can come at the highest price,” Carl Hammersburg, fraud prevention and compliance program manager, said in a release. “Fortunately, L&I offers a number of ways for homeowners to protect themselves.”

The agency advised homeowners to use www.hiringacontractor.lni.wa.gov to see if a contractor is registered, bonded and insured. They also can check any citations or unpaid judgments against a contractor.

Consumers can also check contractors’ status by calling 1-800-647-0982 toll free.

Unregistered contractors underbid the competition by misclassifying workers to dodge unemployment taxes and workers’ compensation insurance premiums. The unregistered companies also do not carry a bond or insurance — problems for a homeowner if something goes wrong with the job.

Report unregistered contractors at the agency website or by calling 1-888-811-5974 toll free.

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