Pennsylvania State Contractor License Requirements

Effective on July 1, 2009 the following changes will occur in contractor license requirements.

Everyone who does work in the following jobs around a home must be licensed under the Home Improvement Consumer Act. This is done in writing to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Consumer Protection in the Office of the Attorney General.

  • Repairing
  • Replacement
  • Remodeling
  • Demolition
  • Removal
  • Renovation
  • Installation
  • Alteration
  • Conversion
  • Modernization
  • Improvement
  • Rehabilitation
  • Sandblasting
  • Construction
  • Replacement
  • Driveways
  • Swimming pools
  • Pool houses
  • Porches
  • Garages
  • Roofs
  • Siding
  • Insulation
  • Solar energy systems
  • Security systems
  • Flooring
  • Patios
  • Fences
  • Gazebos
  • Sheds
  • Cabanas
  • Certain landscaping
  • Painting
  • Doors and windows
  • Waterproofing
  • Central heating
  • Air conditioning
  • Storm windows
  • Awnings

These situations do not require licenses

Less Than a $5,000 Job:

  • If a worker has performed less than $5,000.00 of home improvements during the previous taxable year he or she does not need to be licensed. However, but it is suggested that anyone considering performing more than $5,000 in the coming years should get one now.

New Home Builders:

  • Any new home builders and building suppliers that do not perform home improvements are exempt from this registration.

Three Business Day Right to Rescission

Under the new law a contractor will be required to meet with a homeowner he or she intend to do business with three (3) business days before the intended commencement of work.

Assuming no holidays intervene is how this new systems works:

  • If the contract is signed Monday, work can begin on the following Friday
  • If the contract is signed Tuesday, work can begin on the following Saturday
  • If the contract is signed Wednesday, work can begin on the following Tuesday
  • If the contract is signed Thursday, work can begin on the following Wednesday
  • If the contract is signed Friday, work can begin on the following Thursday
  • If the contract is signed on Saturday or Sunday, work can begin on the following Friday.

Liability Insurance

Carriers of a contractor license must carry the following insurance:

  • Personal injury in an amount not less than $50,000.00
  • Property damaged in an amount not less than $50,000.00

Contracts

Under the new law, any contract that does not meet the requirements of the law will be invalid and unenforceable against the owner

  • The phone number of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Consumer Protection in the Office of the Attorney General
  • Scope of work including specifications
  • Notice of Right of Rescission
  • Start/Completion date
  • Change Order notice
  • Contractor’s registration number
  • Full address of Contractor (not just PO Box)
  • Notice of Insurance
  • Deposits/Down Payments

Under the new law the holder of a contractor license will only be able to accept 1/3 of the total contract amount as a deposit/down payment. This must be clearly outlined in the contract.

Lead and Asbestos Abatement

  • Lead and asbestos abatement contractors require certification.\

Consumers are advised to check for additional local municipal contractor license requirements as contractor laws can differ from county to county. It is also advised to double check with the state’s requirements before hiring a contractor.

Disclaimer