You may be planning some home improvement projects; these can be a major family investment that you want to go as smoothly as possible.

The following resources may help in planning your projects, whether they are large or small, and in choosing a contractor. Since July 2009 all contractors, with a few limited exceptions, that do work at residential properties in Pennsylvania are required to be registered with the PA Office of the Attorney General. This includes landscaping and painting as well as all the construction trades.

We encourage you to visit the PA Attorney Generals website at attorneygeneral.gov to see how the law affords protections to consumers who hire contractors for home remodeling projects. When you enter the website select “Consumers” then “Consumer Home Improvement Information” where you will find information that will assist you in choosing a contractor, and the procedures that contractors should be following when offering you contracts to do work.

To access our local Consumer Protection Department for further advice visit www.buckscounty.org.

One important consideration to remember when your work involves a Township Building Permit is the property owner’s responsibility under the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code to ensure a Final Inspection takes place and a Certificate of Occupancy is issued. Our recommendation to you is that no final payment is made to a contractor until they schedule and receive a final inspection and the certificate is issued. Failure to do this may result in the property owner being responsible to make changes or complete work to pass the final inspection. When the contractor has left the site with full payment it may be difficult to get them back to complete their responsibilities. There may be serious negative insurance implications for property owners who put into use uncompleted projects without a Certificate of Occupancy; so only pay the final installment on receipt of the Certificate of Occupancy.

Questions? Please view the guidelines section for direction on applying for various projects.

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