Consumer Alert: 3 things you need to do when hiring a contractor

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — While many of us in the Memphis metro were spared, so many folks in Arkansas and other areas are still cleaning up after recent storms. Plus we’re dealing with more rain this week.

If your home was damaged there are some things you need to consider before making that all important hire.

Got a license?

First, any job over $25,000 in Tennessee requires a contractor’s license. There are certain areas, like Shelby County, where even smaller jobs require one as well. In the county, any projects over $3,000 require what’s called a Home Improvement License.

Go to to check for a license.

In Arkansas, the magic number is $2,000.

To check for a Home Improvement License in that state, call (501) 372-4661 or contact the Arkansas Contractor’s Board.

Research, research, research

Just like anything else, you need to do your research on a particular contractor before signing on the dotted line. In addition to checking for a license, look to see if the contractor has been in trouble before. Read reviews online through the Better Business Bureau, on social media or even ask a friend.

Protect yourself

After deciding on your contractor, make sure you get everything in writing before the start of the project. This should include a description of the project, how and when the contractor will be paid, total price the contractor will be paid, the start and scheduled end of the project and the procedures that need to be taken if a change needs to be made.

Never pay more than one-third down and don’t let the payments get ahead of the work.