How do I know if I’m dealing with a reputable contractor?

  • Are they licensed? Tennessee law requires that a general contractor or home improvement contractor be licensed. Ask to see a copy of their license and also follow up to verify that it is still current at the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance at  
  • Do they have insurance? In most cases, State law requires that they carry workers compensation insurance. Ask to see a Certificate of Insurance.
  • Ask to see some identification. Be sure you know the correct name of the individual you are dealing with, his/her address, and telephone number(s).
  • Ask for at least two references – and check them out!
  • Make sure all agreements are in writing! Be sure to reduce all verbal change orders or contract amendments, to writing - no exceptions!
  • Do not pay a front-end deposit of more than one third (1/3) of the contract amount.
  • Make absolutely sure they obtain the required building permits. A licensed and reputable contractor will not require that you as the homeowner, pull your own building permit(s).  Make sure the building permit is conspicuously posted before the work begins, and be sure you are furnished with a Final Inspection or Certificate of Occupancy issued by Rutherford County Codes Department, before making final payment of the contract amount.