Home & Garden

Be Aware of the Following Before Hiring a Contractor For Your Home:

November 18, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Over the years, I’ve gathered knowledge through my experience working in the Environmental Consulting and Contracting Industry, as well as through my expertise as co-owner of an insurance agency.

I’ve double checked the information with state regulators.  You must be aware of the following before hiring a contractor to perform any work on your home: 

• The Contractor must be licensed by the State of NJ.
No contractor can obtain a NJ State license without proof of insurance.

Sign Up for E-News

• The Contractor must provide you with proof of Insurance for both Commercial General Liability (CGL) and Workman’s Compensation Insurance (WC).
Ideally the contractor should have a $1,000,000 CGL policy and more importantly have Workman’s Compensation Insurance which is a State Law.

• If a contractor does not have Workman’s Compensation and he or one of his workers gets injured on your property, you the home owner will be responsible for any injuries sustained.

Right now in our post-Hurricane circumstances, a worker falling from a tree or roof, or even slipping on your property, could cause themselves serious injury.

Without a current Workman’s Compensation Policy in effect you would have to rely on your Homeowner’s Policy.  Worse case scenario would be that your Homeowner’s Policy will NOT cover any worker’s personal injury and you would then be personally liable for all injury, medical expenses, future loss of work, etc..
This situation would create a law suit and a subsequent lien on your house.

• Even if a contractor tells you that he is insured,  it is your responsibility to obtain proof of insurance.
Ask them for a Certificate of Insurance that states the Issuing Insurance Agencies name and the listed coverage showing CGL and WC.  You should also call the Insurance agency to confirm that their policy is current and up to date.  Ideally you should also ask for a separate certificate listing you as the policy holder for the work being performed on your house.

• With the significant increase in claims to insurance agencies it is obviously taking longer for adjusters to inspect and approve the required work. If there is a fallen tree or any damage that poses further damage or risk or blocks access to or from your home and or its entrance, you can take pictures, document the damage and proceed to have the work done.  Keep in mind that although some Homeowners policies are very good at reimbursement,  their claims departments are overwhelmed and may take longer than usual.  Some may take up to 60 days.

• Remember to check with your insurance company for the limits on certain types of work.
For example,  some policies for tree removal will have a maximum amount paid and require itemized costs for the trees cut down, grinding and carting away.  Make sure you get itemized pricing from your contractor.

• Beware of any contractor that asks what your deductible is on your policy.  He does not need to know this and insurance companies are scrutinizing every claim to make certain there is no padding by the contractor or deals being offered to the home owner.  Insurance fraud is a very serious and punishable crime and strictly enforced in the state of NJ.

• Anyone experiencing water damage that has mold concerns should be careful of contractors trying to instill health fears and telling you that your entire house and contents must be removed. There are inspections and air quality tests that can and should be performed by experienced professionals that hold certifications, training and experience in these matters.

Typically if you have mold caused by water damage the construction repairs that you will eventually have done will rid the building of any materials containing mold.  Prior to the repairs,  any mold or water damaged areas can and should be removed.  Anything porous should be removed and anything non-porous should be disinfected by standard cleaning items clearly labeled for this purpose, such as mold and mildew remover.  These can also be purchased at any store.  It is essential to wear protection when doing this type of cleanup, especially facial masks with OSHA rated filters.

Robert Burke lives in Roseland, NJ .

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

West Essex

West Essex Field Hockey's Ellie Decker Overcomes Injury to be Named Athlete of the Week

December 2, 2016

NORTH CALDWELL, NJ — Twenty-four hours before the biggest game of her already impressive career, West Essex field hockey sophomore Ellie Decker was ready. The Knights had prepared for this moment for years, with a strong team that had finally reached the Tournament of Champions final—the ultimate goal for any New Jersey team.

Only two hours later, Decker’s season ...

Body of Missing Montclair Resident Found at Eagle Rock Reservation in West Orange

December 1, 2016

WEST ORANGE, NJ – The body of Montclair resident Sarah Butler, a 20-year-old woman who was reported missing by her family shortly before Thanksgiving, was found Thursday morning at Eagle Rock Reservation in West Orange, according to Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray and Montclair Police Chief Todd Conforti.

Law enforcement officers located the remains while searching in an ...

TAPinto Westfield Reaches More than 1 Million Pageviews in 2016

November 23, 2016

WESTFIELD, NJ —  TAPinto Westfield shattered records last month when the local news site reached more than 1 million pageviews in 2016.

The only professional news source dedicated to Westfield, NJ, news 24 hours a day, seven days a week, TAPinto Westfield is part of TAPinto.net, a network of locally owned and operated online news sites.

“I’m especially proud of our ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, December 3, 9:00 AM

Boy Scouts Troop 9 Christmas Tree Fundraiser, West Caldwell

Boy Scouts Troop 9 Christmas Tree Fundraiser

Home & Garden Other Religions And Spirituality


Sat, December 3, 2:00 PM

West Caldwell Public Library, West Caldwell

Book Launch & Signing of "The Crafty Poet II"

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, December 4, 9:00 AM

Boy Scouts Troop 9 Christmas Tree Fundraiser, West Caldwell

Boy Scouts Troop 9 Christmas Tree Fundraiser

Home & Garden Other Religions And Spirituality

Don't Sacrifice the Environment to Fund the State Treasury

November 23, 2016

Dear Editor:

New Jersey’s Natural Resource Damages (NRD) program is an incredibly important and necessary program rising from the state’s history of incremental spills and discharges, as well as historic industrialization. 

NRD requires polluters to go beyond the mandated cleanup and to pay damages for restoration and compensation for the public loss of use of natural ...

West Essex Goes "ALL-IN" with Gian Paul Gonzalez

November 23, 2016

NORTH CALDWELL, NJ — Gian Paul Gonzalez, represented by A Vision in Motion Speakers Bureau, visited West Essex High School on Nov. 16. Gonzalez has traveled across the nation as a motivational speaker for many corporate, athletic, government, and educational institutions.  His message of being "All In" has reached people across the world.

Freedom from Pain: Healthcare on Your Own Terms

WEST CALDWELL, NJ — All of us have a limited amount of time on earth and we want to make the best of every moment. Whether it’s your job, your family or other obligations, the demands of life seem to pull at you from every direction.

The one thing that can stand in the way of meeting those demands is pain. It hinders our performance and throws us off schedule. Since time is our ...

Trinity Academy's Builders Club Creates 25 Baskets of Complete Thanksgiving Dinners for Families in Need

CALDWELL, NJ - Right before Thanksgiving, the students in the Trinity Academy Builders Club created 25 baskets of complete Thanksgiving dinners for families in need.

First, they collected donations from members of the school community and then spent a night creating the Thanksgiving baskets. To create the baskets, the Trinity Academy students filled laundry baskets full of all ...

Q&A With Owners of Meadowbrook Country Day Camp

Recently, the owners of Meadowbrook Country Day Camp, Dan Milman and George Stein, took part in a fun Question and Answer session. Below are the questions and their responses. To learn more about Milman, Stein and Meadowbrook, click here to read a recent article that ran on TApinto.net.



George: A six lb.

My Epic Beauty Fails

One day as I was looking around a high-end cosmetics store for a new lipstick, a “beauty expert” approached me and said that I was so stunning I should forget the lipstick, and get a lip plumper instead. At first I wondered why I needed a lip plumper if I was already so stunning. But then I thought, “Now here is someone wearing a badge that says, ‘beauty expert,’ so ...

Getting a Handle on Thanksgiving

This year, on our National Day of Thanks, I would like to express my gratitude for having hands.

We typically don’t thank our body parts because they seldom leave us.  Most of us have not experienced unfortunate accidents or suffered the horrible consequences of war; tragic events  which might cause us to lose a limb.  

Most of us take our fingers and hands and elbows ...