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News: Blaine

Posted on: February 15, 2023

Building Inspection Corner: Important Questions to Ask Contractors.

Blaine contractors

Many Blaine residents are planning now for 2023 home projects. Before you select a contractor there are a few important questions to ask and items to research when reviewing contractors. 

  • Verify the status of a contractor’s license or by calling 651-284- 5069, 1-800-657-3944, or check online
  • Consider the type of remodeling project and inquire about the names of builders who specialize in or have experience with that type of construction. 
  • Ask friends or neighbors who have completed similar projects. Ask building supply companies or others in the industry about reputable contractors. 
  • Contact the Better Business Bureau to see if it has received complaints against a particular contractor. 
  • Ask the contractor for references and contact former customers to see if they were satisfied with the quality of the work or encountered problems. 
  • Ask the contractor how long he or she has been in business and where and ask for a Minnesota business address other than a post office box. Obtain a local phone number where the contractor can be reached during business hours. 
  • Check the litigation and criminal history of businesses and individuals on the state court system’s website at PA.Courts.State.MN.US.

The following are indications that a contractor may not be reliable or prepared. 

  • Asks the homeowner to obtain permits for the job. 
  • Arrives in an unmarked vehicle. 
  • Offers to complete your job at an unusually low price.
  • Requires full or substantial payment before beginning work. 
  • Refuses to provide a written estimate or contract. 
  • Refuses to provide a DLI license number or provides a registration (IR) number. 
  • Offers to pay your insurance deductible. 
  • Refuses to provide references. 
  • Shows up unsolicited.
  • Uses high-pressure sales tactics.

Once you have a list of contractors, ask them to submit bids. Obtain at least three, detailed bids for any construction or major remodeling project. The lowest bid may not be the best - the bids should be in writing and detailed in the scope of the work, type of materials and total cost. If time is a factor, an approximate completion date should be included. The Blaine Building Inspections Department is always available to answer questions about home projects. 

For more information, visit

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