You’ve got a remodel project that needs to be done in your home. You look online, find a contractor who’s reputable (or so you think), and a week later he’s in your garage sawing and hacking away. Only a few days into the project, he stopped showing up and you can’t get a hold of him. Now what?
Although you may feel hopeless, remember that you do have options, and resources who can help:
1. Start with your local Better Business Bureau. Try searching the contractor’s name, or business name, followed by “BBB” in your web browser. Even if you can’t find a Business Profile for the contractor, you can still file a complaint and BBB will create a profile for you. Once a complaint is filed, we will contact the business and try to mediate the situation.
2. In California, you can also contact the Contractor’s State License Board, or CSLB. The CSLB is the agency in California that regulates contractors, and anyone performing work whose cost in labor and materials is over $500 must be licensed with CSLB. Even if they don’t have a license, you can still file a complaint for active projects. Visit cslb.ca.gov for more information.
3. If you’ve already begun making payments, contact your financial institution. Whether you paid by check, or with a credit card, you may be able to stop the payment before it’s processed. Also know that in California, it’s illegal for a contractor to charge more than 10% of the contract price or $1,000 - whichever is less.
If you’ve exhausted all of these options, find a reputable and trustworthy contractor to take over the project. Be sure you research all reviews and complaints, and ask the contractor for references. If they can’t provide you with any, they may not have any quality references to give. Remember that BBB Accredited Businesses meet and agree to uphold our eight Standards for Trust.
For more information about your rights as a consumer, read Hiring a Contractor: Essential Tips.
By Danielle Spang
Disclaimer: Views expressed on this Blog are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the views of BBB Serving Northeast California.