Many homeowners are unaware of the protections granted to them when it comes to hiring a landscaping company to do work around the home. The fact is any job between $500 and $50,000,000 that includes work on a structure around the home must follow the same laws that a general home contractor would. This includes projects like installs, replacements, improvements or construction of things like driveways, porches, garages, patios, and more.
We pulled out portions of the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act that are most relevant to become accustomed with if you plan on having work done in the future. The truth is there are many “landscapers” who do not follow these requirements that are implemented to protect the consumer. Make sure the landscaper you’ve hired complies with each of these seven edicts or else you’re destined for some serious problems.
- They must be registered with the Bureau of Consumer Protection in the Office of Attorney General. You can check the bureau’s website or call the toll-free number to see whether the contractor is registered or not.
- They must include their registration number on all advertisements, contracts, estimates, and proposals. An example you can use is our registration number in the footer of this page, right next to our name (PA HIC #029699).
- All contracts are only enforceable if they’re signed by the contractor and include the total sales price. If they charge time and materials there must be an estimate, and the final total for the work complete cannot exceed the estimate total plus 10% UNLESS there is a change-order signed by both parties. The change-order must meet the same time and materials criteria as outlined by the Office of the Attorney General.
- You may cancel any contract, without penalty, within three business days of signing with the contractor.
- Refunds must be provided within 10 days following a certified written request for refund if substantial work hasn’t been performed, or 45 days have passed since the starting date in the contract.
- No payments must be made before a contract is signed.
- The contract may not be deviated from without a written request or change-order that is agreed upon and signed by both parties and includes price changes.
Again, we want to emphasize that this is just a snapshot of the regulations put forth in the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act. We encourage you to read the document in its entirety on the Attorney General’s website. This is also not to be used as legal counsel for any dispute, as we only put this together as an aid to help you become familiar with some of the rules for landscape contractors like us here at Hively Landscapes.
We hope you find this blog helpful, and of course if you have any questions feel free to contact us at the phone number or social media channels at the top of the page. You can also use our contact form on our contact page.