As a member of the Building Industry Association of Hawaii, HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union reached out to the professionals to get advice about choosing a building contractor.

Here are a few things to know:

Training and experience. To qualify for a contractor’s license, applicants must demonstrate the necessary training and experience. The Contractors License Board also requires applicants to demonstrate “a good reputation for honesty, truthfulness, fi nancial integrity and fair “dealing,” submit tax clearances, proof of insurance, and other required qualifi cations.

Insurance. Licensed contractors are required to carry liability insurance and are responsible if a worker is injured on the jobsite. This protects the homeowner from putting their property at risk if anything is damaged or if anyone is injured.

Obtain required permits. Licensed contractors are able to apply for and obtain building permits. For information about building, electrical and plumbing permits, contact the planning and permitting department for your county.

The right license for the job. It is important to hire the right kind of contractor for your particular job. There are three types of contractors: General Engineering (Type A), General Building (Type B), and Specialty (Type C).

Can I hire a handyperson for minor repairs? If the total cost of your project, including labor and materials, is less than $1,000 and doesn’t require a building permit, then yes, you may hire a handyperson.

How do I know a contractor is licensed? The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) and its Regulated Industries Complaints Offi ce (RICO) offer tools, tips and services you can use to check out an individual or business.

The right contractor ensures money well spent.

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