Hiring a Contractor

The City works to protect you by requiring licensing, bonding, and liability insurance for residential, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical contractors. We employ experienced and trained full-time inspectors who investigate legitimate complaints and prosecute unlicensed individuals or unlawful work. 

How to Hire

Step 1.Before hiring a contractor to do work on your home, it’s a good idea to gather certain information:

  • Address: Make sure the contractor has a legitimate business address.
  • Reputation/References: Ask for a list of previous customers and reach out to local trade organizations and the Better Business Bureau to check their reputation.
  • Liability Insurance: Request proof of general liability insurance.
  • Licenses: Contact the Building Services Department at 605 367-8672 to confirm the contractor’s license is active.
  • Estimates/Contracts: Get more than one estimate and make sure that each includes a detailed description of all materials and work to be completed, the total contract price, payment schedule, and a start and completion date. Get estimates in writing and signed by the contractor. Verbal agreements may not be binding.
  • Down Payment: Never pay full contractual price until the project is completed to your satisfaction and inspected by the City.

Step 2.Be cautious if:

  • The contractor’s vehicle doesn’t have commercial signage,
  • The contractor asks you to get the permit,
  • The contractor offers a senior discount,
  • The contractor wants to barter services for your personal property.

Step 3.After signing the contract:

  • Get a copy of the permit.
  • Get any changes in writing, including a detailed description of the work to be completed, all materials, amended total contract price, and start and completion dates.

Step 4.Be suspicious if:

  • The contractor fails to post a permit placard in a street side window of your home,
  • The contractor wants you to request city inspections,
  • The contractor asks you to sign a Certificate of Completion or Acceptance before the work has been inspected and approved by the City.

Step 5.As the homeowner, your responsibility is to:

  • Properly screen the person you hire,
  • Hire a qualified professional contractor who is licensed by the City.
  • Ensure the workmanship meets your expectations.