Property owners should make sure that contractors have:
- Proper licenses and registrations
- A good reputation
- The required permits before starting work.
The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) has tools that can help you with this.
Licenses and registrations
Property owners should make sure that contractors have required licenses or registrations before hiring them.
- Plumbers, electricians, fire suppression contractors, and complete demolition contractors must have a Philadelphia trade license.
- Unless they work only on existing one-or-two-family residences, other contractors who do construction, demolition, and repair work need a contractor license.
- Contractors who only work on existing one-or-two-family dwellings and are not plumbers, electricians, fire suppression workers, or complete demolition contractors must register as Home Improvement Contractors with the PA Attorney General’s Office.
Property owners should ask contractors for references and do additional research. The Attorney General’s Office makes some recommendations, including:
- Checking contractors’ references.
- Getting more than one bid for the job.
- Checking for complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau.
Once you hire a contractor, make sure that they have the required permits from L&I and have posted those permits on your property before they begin work.
Tools for finding a contractor
Find a licensed contractor
You can find a licensed contractor using L&I’s online tool.
You can find a registered Pennsylvania Home Improvement Contractor by searching the PA Attorney General’s database or calling 1-888-520-6680.
You can also look up which contractors have had their licenses revoked or suspended.
Check for permits
You can check if a contractor has obtained the required permits using L&I’s permit lookup tool.
You can also find information on the permits and violations associated with an address using the City’s Atlas tool.