New law will protect homeowners

By: Samantha Andre Email
By: Samantha Andre Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock, June 17, 2008

AUGUSTA, Ga.---Anyone can build a home in Georgia, since the state doesn't require license, but a new law will soon change that.

Building a home is a very big job Jake Ivey has loved for 24 years.

"Gives you a sense of accomplishment to be able to look at houses you've built and say, 'well i built that house,'" said Ivey.

It's a job too easy for some builders because Georgia doesn't require a license.

"Your hairdresser now has more requirements now to be licensed that a homebuillder does," said Ivey.

That will all change July 1, when all building contractors will have to have a license from the state.

"Protects the public buying a house. They know that the person they're buying from at least has a certain amount of experience and technical knowledge to build a house," Ivey said.

Even still, he says people need to do some homework when choosing a contractor. He says everyone should check references, the Better Business Bureau, and choose someone with experience.

If something still goes wrong, this law will give homeowners more of an option than just going to court.

"They can now go to the state of Georgia if they have any complaints that need to be dealt with that maybe a builder did not correct or would not come back or is having difficulties," said Richard Harmon. He already issues licenses that have been required in Columbia County for three years.

He says he's seen the quality of builders go up since then and believes the same will happen statewide.

"It will bring quality construction to the state of Georgia," Harmon said.

Some contractors have been grandfathered in based on experience and training. Others will now have to take a test to get their license.

Anyone who does not get a license by July 1 will not be able to get a permit to build anywhere in the state of Georgia.

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