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Attending a home show? Visit the L&I booth for a reality check on contractor scams and how to avoid them

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October 3, 2012

TUMWATER — The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) and its consumer outreach team will attend several home shows around Washington in the coming weeks to educate consumers on how to protect themselves from shady contractors, shoddy work and costly scams.

Stories of homeowners dealing with leaking roofs, cracking driveways, or tree trimming jobs that are never quite finished are often in the media. But consumers who do their homework can learn ahead of time whether the person they hire is registered, has insurance, carries a bond or has outstanding lawsuits against them.

There are plenty of good contractors out there and, with a little homework, consumers can be sure to hire one of them.

  • Look for red flags that warn of a potential scam, such as asking to be paid in cash, have a check made out to someone other than the business, or use of high-pressure sales tactics. Remember: If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Get lien waivers from contractors. Before making final payment, make sure subcontractors and suppliers aren’t owed any money. Unpaid subcontractors and suppliers can hold the consumer responsible for these costs and place liens on their homes.

For more one-on-one advice from the experts, stop by the L&I booths at these coming home shows:

The bottom line when hiring a contractor is to hire smart. L&I can help.


For media information: Hector Castro, L&I, 360-902-6043.

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Broadcast version:
The state Department of Labor & Industries will be at home and garden shows across the state during this fall remodel season, giving homeowners tips and tools to protect themselves when hiring a contractor. L&I will be at home shows in Seattle, Tacoma, Kitsap and Spokane. For more information, visit to make sure the company or person you hire is properly registered and has both a bond and insurance.


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