No contract? For some local contractors, that wasn't a problem.
But when it comes to following state law, it is.
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman Thursday announced 18 contractors in Oneida and Herkimer counties admitted to working on home improvement projects without signing contracts with homeowners.
More than 200 contractors statewide admitted to similar violations.
"Far too often, homeowners hire contractors without having signed documents stating what work will be done and how long it will take," Schneiderman said in a news release. "And time and again, consumers end up with much larger bills than expected, or with projects that were never started or completed. They need to know their rights, and home improvement contractors must obey the law."
The state's Home Improvement Contracts law requires a contract signed by both parties stating:
• The scope of the work
• When it will begin and end.
• What materials will be used.
Inform the homeowner they have up to three days to cancel the contract after signing it.
Under a settlement, all 211 contractors across the state signed agreements to stop performing work without signed agreements and will pay penalties and fines.
All 18 local contractors were fined $300, according to a spokesman from the Attorney General's Office.
Homeowners always should get something in writing, said Kathleen Winters, office manager at Upstate Better Business Bureau.
"It's for the protection of both parties," she said. "Especially if you're spending a lot of money, do your homework first, get references, get at least three estimates and check them out."
According to the Attorney General's Office the investigation was prompted by numerous homeowner complaints across the state.
Several contractors in the settlement declined to comment.
The state Attorney General's office announced a settlement with 18 local contractors as part of settlements with 211 contractors state-wide. The contractors allegedly worked on home improvement projects without signing contracts with homeowners, which they are required to do under state law. All 18 contractors were fined $300 each.
- Richard Robinson, d/b/a Advanced Energy Systems of New York, LLC, 17 Tilton Rd., Utica
- Andrew Bryce, d/b/a American Home Improvements, 943 US Highway 20, P.O. Box 478, West Winfield
- Bernard Julian, d/b/a Bernard Julian Contracting, 1505 Herkimer Rd., Utica
- Anthony Cesario, d/b/a T. Cesario Building & Contracting, 236 Riverview Parkway North, Rome
- Richard Miller, d/b/a Clearview Vinyl, 4773 State Route 12B, Oriskany Falls
- Sandy Bray, d/b/a James Bray Paving, 1211 Newport Rd., Utica
- Ralph Destefanis, d/b/a N-Hance Wood Renewal, 432 Lafayette St., Utica
- Russell H. Brown, Jr., d/b/a R.H. Brown General Contracting, 6276 Sleepy Hallow Rd., Rome
- Judy M. Velardi, d/b/a Roscoe's Roofing Construction Corp., 1159 Kossuth Ave, Utica
- Douglas Sahl, d/b/a Sahl's Glass and Glazing, Inc., 392 Oriskany Blvd., Whitesboro
- Brian Townsand, d/b/a Sunspace Sunrooms, 810 Sherman Ave, Rome
- Ronald Padykula, d/b/a Whitestown Kitchen Center, 52 Henderson St., New York Mills
Page 2 of 2 - Herkimer County
- Millard K. Marlowe, d/b/a Cann-Doo Services, 480 McGowan Rd., Ilion
- Christopher Marlowe, d/b/a Christopher Marlowe General Contracting Services, LLC, 209 North St., Herkimer
- Joshua R. Galletta, d/b/a Galletta's Contracting & Services, 102 South Main St., Dolgeville
- Patrick Samson, d/b/a Mr. P's Imports, 2308 Higby Rd., Frankfort
- Bryan Ozog, d/b/a Northern Sprayfoam, 7469 Brayton Rd., Poland
- Rodney Tarbox, d/b/a Tarbox Brothers, 2446 State Rt. 168, Mohawk
Source: State Attorney General's office.
HOME CONTRACTS LAW STATES THAT ALL CONTRACTS MUST:
• Be signed by both parties.
• Describe the work being done.
• Include the start and end dates.
• Include what materials are being used.
• Inform the consumer of the three-day right to cancel the contract.