Guide for Consumers

Patricia Skinner  |  3/11/2008 2:05:42 AM

Communicating with Service Providers
Types of Services and Provider Service Areas
Accuracy, honesty and good practice
Making the registry work for everyone
Reporting problems
Terms of Use
The Home Design and Construction Registry was created to help consumers find and communicate with providers of professional building services -- contractors, architects, engineers, realtors, insurance agents and others. We hope this guide contributes to a pleasant and successful experience. If you haven't read the About the Registry page, please do.

Communicating with service providers
Through the Home Design and Construction Registry you are able to identify state-licensed or -registered service providers who have said they wish to work in your parish and who offer the service you are seeking.

To get started, you will need to create a “Consumer” profile in the registry that includes information about you, your project and your service needs.

You can search the registry for service providers after you have created a consumer profile. Providers who offer the service you need and serve your parish will be selected from the registry and listed randomly, showing the company names and their primary office location (parish). You can send a message to any provider your choose. The message you send will go through the registry and give the service provider information about your project. Providers who want to speak with you further about your project will send you a “business card” through our system. That card will be sent to the personal e-mail account you included in your registry profile, or it will be held in the registry for you to read.

You are allowed to have up to 20 inquires active at any given time. If the building industry professional does not respond to your inquiry within one week, the inquiry will "expire." It will remain in the professional's inbox, and the professional will still be able to respond at a later time. But by labeling the inquiry as expired, the system reduces the number of inquiries you have "out" and frees you to seek services from other professionals.


Types of service and provider service areas
You should expect to find services that relate directly to building or restoring a house or other structures on residential property, to lawn and landscape, or to protecting homes from hurricanes by actions taken on the homeowner’s property.

Many types of services are involved in the design and construction of a home. In addition to building and home improvement contractors, you may need professionals to help with design, engineering, buying and selling real estate, financing, insurance, landscape, pest control and preventing flood, wind and water damage.

The registry will open with only commercial, residential, home improvement, plumbing and mold remediation contractors listed. In the near future, the registry will expand to include additional professional services.


Accuracy, honesty and good practice
The registry serves to put you in touch with building industry professionals who may meet your needs. The registry manager verifies that state license and registration information is correct. The registry does not allow a professional to offer a service that requires a state license if the professional does not have the state license or registration required for that service. In other words, a builder that does not have a residential contractor's license from the Louisiana State Licensing Board of Contractors cannot offer -- through this registry -- to build a new home.

Note about local licensing: Some parishes, cities and towns require local licenses for building services. The registry does not record local licenses or licensing requirements. Professionals are encouraged to become knowledgeable about local licensing requirements in the areas where they choose to work and to refrain from accepting jobs for which they do not have the required local licenses.

The fact that a provider participates in the registry is indication of interest in serving the recovering population in Louisiana. Beyond that, business industry professionals are responsible for the accuracy of their information. While we expect professionals to give honest, accurate information about their products and services, we cannot guarantee they will. Appearance in the registry is not an endorsement. Evaluate providers of professional building services as you would any purchase.

The LSU AgCenter provides general guidance on working with professionals in Louisiana. Due to differences in contract and consumer protection laws, some aspects of this guidance may not apply in other states.


Making it work for everyone
The registry will grow and be a valuable resource if consumers and building professionals have similar understandings of its purpose and if they have generally positive experiences with it. We appeal to all to use the registry for its intended purpose and to respect the limits established by the registry managers.

Please communicate to the registry manager any problems you experience with the system or abuses of the system by others, especially those that discourage you from using it to find home-building industry professionals.


Reporting problems with the registry
Please use the Comments Form to report problems. There is a Comments link on each page of the registry. We welcome your suggestions for improvement. Comments submitted to the registry become the property of the LSU AgCenter.

Information provided and linked from this site is for information-sharing purposes only. Neither the LSU AgCenter nor any agency, officer or employee warrants the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of any information contained herein or linked hereto.

The LSU AgCenter does not endorse any services listed or linked on this site. The LSU AgCenter shall have no liability for any direct, indirect or consequential damages related to the use and/or extraction of the information contained herein.

Terms of Use
Please read the Terms of Use document. Thank you for reading the "Guide for Consumers."

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