Home Improvement Contractors

Home Improvement Contractors - Ways to Protect Myself

 What Should Be in My Contract (Project over $500.00, must have a contract)

  • Start / Finish Date or Duration.
  • All warranties & guarantees listed in writing. 
  • 3 Day Notice to Consumer, cancellation option. 
  • NJ Consumer Affairs phone number 888-656-2225.
  • Signatures of both parties on the contract.
  • Total cost including finance charges of the home improvement on the front page.
  • Description of work to be performed and principal products and materials.
  • Must present with the contract, a copy of Commercial Liability Insurance and the name and phone number of the agent.
  • The name, business address, phone number, sale representative 
  • NJ Home Improvement Registration number must be listed on all documents including the contract.

Before You Sign a Contract

  • Ask for a lien wavier.  A lien wavier is a receipt that states that the workers and material suppliers will not ask you for money once you have paid the contractor.  Beware if the contractor asks you to sign a statement that says you will cover the costs of materials and labor if the contract does not pay.
  • Get Written Estimates from at least three contractors, Check if they are registered and have Liability Insurance (required by law)
  • Research online about the performance of the Contractor.  Use multiple sources.
  • Construction Permits: Do not say you are performing the work yourself, if you have a contractor.  Provide the name of your contractor and registration or license number on the permits otherwise you may be forfeiting the protection s afforded by law.
  • No Home Improvement Contractor shall offer to perform, or engage, or attempt to engage in the business of making or selling residential home improvements unless registered with the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs.
  • Verify a Home Improvement Contractor Registration - Link


  • Do not pay for the entire job upfront.  The law prohibits Home Improvement Contractors from demanding the final payment on the contract before the home improvement is completed in accordance in terms of the contract.  This means you should not make the final payment until the work is done and the site passes all inspections.
  • Document all payments using credit cards, checks or receipts.
  • Keep a log of all activities of work progression and payments.   Place all documents in a folder.

Contractors Must

  • Register annually with the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs.
  • Prominently display the registration number on advertisements, documents, lawn signs and vehicles.
  • The word License shall not be used, it is a registration.
  • Refunds to the consumer must be paid within 30 days of cancellation.
  • Must not start work without a permit issued for project.
  • Display registration certificate at place of business.
  • Home Improvement Contractor - Application NJ Division of Consumer Affairs 

Laws & Registrations

Laws & Regulations - Home Improvement Contractors - Link

Home Improvement Contractor - Application NJ Division of Consumer Affairs 

NJ Business Portal

****You must be both a Registered Home Improvement Contractor & Register your business