Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hiring a Home Improvement Contractor in Fairfax County

The following information is from the "Informed Consumer" Summer 2011 Newsletter, Consumer Affairs Branch of the Fairfax County Department of Consumer Services.  This newsletter comes out quarterly, you can sign up for at the Consumer Services website: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/consumer/
The Fairfax County Consumer Affairs Branch offers a variety of educational seminars to consumers of Fairfax County.  One of the more popular seminars is the Home Improvement Seminar.  The Home Improvement Seminar discusses the steps to take before hiring a home improvement contractor, work that requires a Fairfax County building permit, information that should be included within
the contract, tips on how to manage the project, and items to review before making the final payment. 

The presentation reviews the Home Solicitation Sales Act and the ―Buyer’s Right to Cancel clause that must be included in all contracts that are signed in your home.  It also discusses your rights under the Contractor Fraud law. 

Our office is available to conduct a presentation for your community, please feel free to contact us at 703-222-8435.  Once you’ve become educated about the contractor laws and selection process, try to coordinate a meeting with your common interest community association’s board or architectural committee to review your proposed project.  Are you required to submit a request for approval of the project?  Are there certain restrictions on material choice or color that you must communicate to your contractor?  

One final step in the process, is to contact the Fairfax County Permit Application Center to confirm whether or not your contractor is required to obtain any permits.  It’s important to have that confirmed prior to beginning work on your home.

The Fairfax County Consumer Affairs Branch does offer mediation services regarding consumer-contractor disputes that may arise.  If you find yourself in such a situation, please feel free to contact our office at 703-222-8435 or file an online complaint.  You can also contact our office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to speak with an Investigator of the Day regarding any general inquiries related to home improvement contractors.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Virginia is For Lovers :: Follow Your Heart Sweepstakes

Virginia is For Lovers :: Follow Your Heart Sweepstakes

Hurry!!  Sweepstakes ends August 25, 2011.  Click on the above link to enter.

Follow Your Heart to Virginia and Win One of Ten Free Vacations
Grand Prize Winner Will Build a Dream Trip to Virginia

Enter the Follow Your Heart to Virginia Sweepstakes – a statewide vacation giveaway featuring nine first-prize trips and one grand prize that allows the winner to build his or her dream vacation. Each trip puts love front and center with amusement parks, wineries, museums and special experiences to ensure loved ones feel completely connected on a Virginia vacation.

One grand prize winner will create a dream vacation by choosing components of any of the first-place prizes for a vacation. The grand prize trip is good for two to four people and for two to five nights, based on winner’s choice.

See the official rules and prize descriptions.