6. "Let's save the cost of a building permit"

or: "We don't really want to have all these inspectors running around your house, do we?"

or: "I sent my check in for the contractor's license three months ago, but you know how government works, don't you?"

HINT: MOST REMODELING PROJECTS REQUIRE BUILDING PERMITS. Work done without permits is usually easy to spot. Such work is characterized by poor installation, unsafe electrical wiring, and is generally sloppy. Work done without a permit may invalidate some aspects of your homeowner's insurance. A well-organized contractor will apply for a building permit early, minimizing delays. In most cases, building permits can be issued during the time it takes to plan a project.

HINT: MOST STATES REQUIRE CONTRACTOR LICENSING. Obtaining a contractor's license in most states is also very easy. It provides you, the customer, with some protection, i.e., insurance, bonding. The basic task of a contractor is to manage the construction job. Failing to obtain a license only demonstrates the contractor's incompetence. To find out about the status of a contractor's license, contact the contractor's registration office in your state, for example the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries has an on line service which allows you to verify contractor licensing, insurance and bonding, it also lists any open claims. (If you know of any similar services in other states, please let us know about them).