A: The Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC) was started in the 1970's to protect homeowners, not only from scam artists and "gypsy" fly-by-night contractors, but also contractors who, for some legitimate reason are unable to complete their contractual obligations to their homeowner clients. In these cases the MHIC will step in and make things right. Funding for this service is provided through deposits made by member contractors themselves to the commission's guaranty fund.
A: Not at all. To be a member in good standing in the MHIC (like us) a contractor must pass an examination as directed by the State of Maryland, provide proof of having gained at least 2 years work experience in the field and provide proof of business solvency and financial responsibility. After passing the examination, the contractor must then apply for and become licensed (many are not), and maintain insurance coverage (some do not). Also, there are obvious costs involved in being licensed, in carrying adequete insurance, and in making the substantial deposits that must be made to the MHIC guaranty fund. Only experienced and successful contractors can provide the sustainability necessary to meet these requirements and to cover these costs year after year.