Home NS Sentinel N/S Sentinel News Ask contractors for specific information before hiring; be wary of potential scams

Ask contractors for specific information before hiring; be wary of potential scams

SOUTH BRUNSWICK – A few residents have reported being approached by contractors offering to redo their driveways for a low price. These contractors are typically not registered or insured and many times they are fraudulent.

South Brunswick Township has an ordinance that restricts door to door sales from solicitors and peddlers. The ordinance requires anyone soliciting to register with the town and obtain a permit from the Clerk’s Office. If someone is soliciting without a permit, contact South Brunswick Police at 732-329-4646 to report the incident.

Before hiring a contractor, rely on recommendations from friends, family and neighbors rather than hire a contractor who knocks on the door. Research the contractor. Contact Consumer Affairs to make sure the contractor has a valid license or registration; call 800-242-5846. Ask if there are any complaints against the company or contractor. Next, check the Better Business Bureau and Google the contractor’s name and company name with the word “complaints.”

Learn about contracts. State law requires all jobs for more than $500 to have a written contract, which must include the legal name and business address of the contractor, the start and end dates for the project, a description of the work, the total price and other items. The contract must also have the business’ license or registration numbers, and the contractor must give you a copy of his commercial liability insurance policy and the insurer’s phone number.

Before hiring someone, get three different estimates to compare the offers before making a decision. Have the contractors provide a list of references; a copy of the certificate of liability insurance; a written contract that might include compaction of the subgrade and base, the thickness of the pavement, the overall cost and payment schedule and how long the job will take; and ask for a warranty on workmanship and materials.

After hiring a contractor, keep detailed notes on everything that happens just in case something goes wrong. Record dates, names and conversations that will support you in any future dispute.

Information courtesy of the South Brunswick Police Department

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