I have seen some recent posts on social media from neighbors who hired a contractor for some home improvement work only to get scammed by the contractor- they took a large deposit and vanished or provided substandard work. For those of you hiring a contractor, you should be familiar with the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act (HICPA). HICPA is intended to help you avoid getting taken by unreputable contractors. HICPA requires all home improvement contractors to register with the state Attorney General and requires them to provide you a written contract for any job in excess of $500. The law also prohibits certain unfair terms in the contract, and also sets limitations on how much of a deposit in advance the contractor can require.
Take some time before hiring a contractor – review the contract they provided you and look them up on the Attorney General’s website and/or through the Better Business Bureau to ensure they are legit. Note also under HICPA even if you have signed a contract, you have a 3 business day right of rescission to cancel after signing. For more info on HICPA protections or to verify registration for a contractor, please check out the PA AG site: the PA Attorney General’s Home Improvement info page.
Good luck out there!