This is a good news story. It’s a story of technology, of a state government responding to a need for streamlining and for making procedures easier for all concerned, and of keeping in mind the benefits that accrue to those who follow the rules and look for workable solutions.

For 20 years, in Massachusetts, there has been a requirement for home improvement contractors (those who perform work that involves “reconstruction, alteration, renovation, repair, modernization, conversion, improvement, removal, or demolition, or the construction of an addition to any pre-existing owner occupied building”) to register with the state and pay a nominal fee for a two-year license.

Compliance, according to a state official, has been low. But a new online portal that provides an easier way to register and pay is expected to boost compliance rates. Online renewals of the two-year registration are expected to be implemented as an additional feature of the portal this fall.

Why It Matters

While registration is not the same as a licensing law, and it involves no educational requirement or testing provisions, it does offer a form of protection for the consumer. A portion of the licensing fee is a mandatory contribution to the state’s guaranty fund. That fund can be used to “compensate homeowners for up to $10,000 for unpaid judgments against contractors.” An arbitration program exists to help resolve any disputes that arise between owners and home improvement contractors.

The new, streamlined registration procedures are viewed as a way to protect homeowners and to shore up the guaranty funds, in addition to encouraging construction contractors to comply with existing law.

While Boston is currently experiencing what some term an unprecedented building boom, we applaud the efforts of state officials to streamline procedures for professional contractors. Not only do we support continuing efforts from all quarters to improve the professionalism of the construction industry, but we also applaud protective measures that the registration requirements provide for the homeowners of our city.

Who Benefits

In the end, everyone benefits every time procedures are simplified; and we all appreciate that there are checks and balances in place to help building and construction professionals improve their industry.

As the only building supply firm located in the heart of Boston, we have an opportunity each and every day to interact with the best in the business. We also deal with architects and designers, homeowners and developers, city officials and small businessmen on a regular basis. We know that most people are honest and sincere, committed to doing their best and reaping the rewards of hard work and dedication.

We also know that complying with myriad regulations and following all the rules can become complicated and overly burdensome. Streamlining the process is a move in the right direction.

Moving into the Future

If you’re interested in learning more about the registration requirements, or if you want to check on your chosen contractor’s registration, you can visit this site for answers to frequently asked questions about the law.

As a building owner, know that you are within your rights to ask to see the contractor registration card.

Finally, for our professional associates in the building industry, if you don’t yet know about the online portal, or if you would like an easier way to register or renew your registration, check here.

For all your building needs, and for great ideas now and in the future, we hope you’ll continue to visit New England Building Supply in the heart of Boston.

We want you to love us as much as we love it here!