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Tue, Dec. 10

Home Improvement: Consumers can follow tips for hiring contractors

Hiring a contractor for building or remodeling a house involves a number of steps, but it does not have to be difficult.

The Arizona Registrar of Contractors - a state agency - and the Yavapai County Contractors Association - a trade organization - help guide consumers to make the process flow as smoothly as possible.

"Contracting is a business that should be approached with the same attitude that would apply in any other business dealing: buyer beware," states a two-page guide to consumers on the Registrar's website, www.rc.state.az.us.

Both the Registrar and the association stress the need to hire a licensed contractor in part because doing so will protect the consumer in cases of disputes involving workmanship.

State law requires all contractors who perform residential and commercial remodeling, and construction to have a license and obtain a bond, the guide states.

The state exempts work that costs less than $1,000 for labor and materials, does not require a building permit and is not part of a larger project.

Aspiring contractors must pass a business management test and possibly a trade test, depending on the nature of the construction work, the guide states. Contractors also must list work history and experience.

For more information, call the association at 778-0040, or log onto the Registrar's website. The Registrar maintains an office in Prescott at 240 S. Montezuma St., Suite 202B; the phone number is 445-5710.

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