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Consumer Advice - Home Improvement Commission


  • Make sure the contractor you choose is licensed. It is a criminal offense to do home improvements without a license, and there is no protection from the Guaranty Fund for the homeowner who uses an unlicensed contractor.
  • Check the license status of a contractor or salesperson.


  • Call 410-230-6231 or 1-888-218-5925. Ask if complaints have been filed against a contractor and whether they have been resolved or are still open.
  • Obtain complaint forms by phone or at our website.
  • Obtain Guaranty Fund claim forms.


  • Request references from a prospective contractor—check them!
  • If the contractor is providing lead paint abatement services, see if the contractor is accredited to do this work. Call 410-537-3825.
  • Get a copy of the contractor’s current liability insurance certificate.
  • Always get a written contract.
  • Pay no more than 1/3 of the contract price as down payment.
  • If a building permit is needed, ask to see it before work starts.