SOURCE: Angie's List

Angie's List

September 01, 2011 16:52 ET

Angie's List Says Know Your State Licensing

Being Aware of Different State Licensing Requirements Is Especially Important in the Washington, D.C. Area

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Sep 1, 2011) - Although navigating the ins and outs of finding a licensed contractor can be tricky, it is essential to take your time to do your research: Granting an electrical novice access to your home's AC/DC currents could end in a smoky ruin.

For a Washington, D.C. resident in the hunt for a good electrician, choosing between a local company versus one in Maryland or Virginia requires understanding the laws that govern electricians in each state. In most cases, states have different requirements for contractor licensing.

If you decide to gather estimates from different companies in two or more of the states, it's important to know the laws governing contractors in each one.

Here's the breakdown on basic qualifications for contracting work in the three different states:

In Virginia, a contractor who performs any work over $1,000 must be licensed by the state. Licensing also is required for individuals and businesses working with asbestos and lead abatement as well as gas fitting.

In Maryland, a license is required for any home improvement work as well as any asbestos and lead abatement work. However, general construction contractors do not require a license. Typically, general construction contractors oversee or provide materials for the renovation, but don't perform the work themselves. The individuals actually working on your home improvements should, however, be licensed. Maryland HVACR contractors must also be licensed, with the "R" standing for refrigeration -- a slight variation from just the HVAC requirements in D.C. and Virginia.

In the nation's capital, a license is required for any work contract exceeding $300 in cost. In addition, if you're having trouble with asbestos poisoning and/or a flighty fridge, you want to make sure your contractor is licensed to properly deal with that too. Angie's List has trusted consumer reviews in more than 500 service categories. Visit Angie's List for information on highly rated service providers in the Washington, D.C. area.

Contact Information

  • Media contact:
    Cheryl Reed

    Angie's List
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    Indianapolis, Indiana 46202