“Do It Yourself” Construction Projects
Some homeowners have the expertise to replace appliances and make household repairs, even build decks and add on rooms. However, most people hire professional contractors to do the work.
Everyone wants a job done well at a reasonable price. With that in mind, the Alamance County Inspections Department has advice for anyone contracting to have work done on their home.
Know what you want done.
Have a plan, research alternatives, and establish a budget and schedule that works for you.
Know your contractor.
Do your research. Shop around and get several estimates. Ask for references and talk with them to determine how satisfied they were with the contractor’s work.
Where applicable, ensure that the person you hire has the required N.C. contractor’s license. Licensed contractors are professionals who have passed technical exams and have proven that they have the financial means to support their business. With a licensed contractor, you may have more options and recourse if problems arise.
Obtain the proper permits.
While a contractor can act as a homeowner’s agent and pick up the necessary permits, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to make sure that the appropriate permits are obtained.
Please Remember: You should never pay contractors in full until the job is complete, all inspections have been approved and you are satisfied with the work.
Schedule required inspections.
Inspections scheduled before 4 p.m. will be performed the following workday. The Alamance County building inspectors will look over the work as often as necessary to ensure that it complies with state law, local ordinances and terms of the permit.
Obtain a certificate of compliance for the work if you choose.
When your project is complete and all inspections have been approved, the County will issue a certificate of compliance at your request as proof that all work meets or exceeds minimum standards of the N.C. State Building Code. This can be helpful when selling your home.
Seek reimbursement for dishonest or incompetent work.
Through the Homeowner’s Recovery Fund, the General Contractor’s Licensing Board has money available for homeowners who have suffered a reimbursable loss in constructing or altering their home as a result of dishonest or incompetent conduct by a general contractor. This applies when the homeowner is not compensated by the contractor whose conduct caused the loss or is not covered by a bond, surety agreement or an insurance contract.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
To learn more about these and other construction procedures, call the Inspections Department at (336) 290-0404 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
The Consumer Protection Division of the N.C. Attorney General’s Office works to protect the public from unfair and deceptive business practices, including fraud and scams.
The Better Business Bureau is a nonprofit organization supported by local businesses. It promotes consumer and business education. Services include informal dispute resolution between customers and businesses.