Vermont lawmakers passed a statewide contractor registry two years ago

 Vermont lawmakers passed a statewide contractor registry two years ago in an effort to keep track of contractors and hold them accountable. If they don’t sign up, they could face thousands of dollars in fines. Some 971 contractors have signed up for the online registry so far, but it turns out counting the number of contractors in Vermont isn’t concrete. Contractors specializing in construction, painting, weatherization, roofing, paving, heating, solar, electrical, water and more face a deadline. The Vermont Contractor Registry was billed as a way to identify and regulate consumer protection policy to give people options to avoid home improvement scammers. Contractors who do projects over $10,000 will have to buy insurance, fill out contracts with customers and sign onto the registry. The home improvement industry has largely avoided state regulations, including a centralized list of contractors. So far, nearly 1,000 contractors have signed up. But some are already out of compliance– the deadline to register was April of last year. Anyone not registered by next Monday could start accruing fines or penalties. State officials are trying to get the message out. They’ve placed placards in lumber yards and hardware stores, and emailed 30,000 people to get the word out, including to those who may unknowingly cross the $10,000 threshold. But homebuilders say the door swings both ways and that consumers need to know about the registry in the first place for the law to be effective. The registry has been active for several years. There’s also an extensive list of convicted home improvement fraudsters or those who have settled claims.