Storm damage?: Some advice from the town’s building department

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Following this past month’s severe weather, the Building Department would like to offer the following advice to homeowners who may need to make repairs:

Document any storm damage carefully. When reporting damage or claims to your insurance company, make sure that you have a clear understanding of how to proceed.

Obtain estimates or proposals from more than one contractor. Have them give you a detailed written estimate. Make sure that all contractors are proposing the same quality and type of materials.

Connecticut’s home improvement law requires a written contract between the homeowner and contractor. The contract must include a description of the work to be done, a start and finish date, a notice of the homeowner’s right to cancel the contract within three days and information on how payments must be made. Both the homeowner and contractor must sign the contract.

All contractors working on your home must be registered by the State Department of Consumer Protection as a Home Improvement Contractor (HIC). You can investigate whether a contractor is properly registered, or whether a contractor has any complaints filed against them, by searching the Department of Consumer Protection website at: 

If a contractor has any employees on your property, they are required to carry Workers’ Compensation insurance. Sole proprietors or contractors who do not have employees do not need workers’ compensation insurance.

Most significant repair projects, such as roof or siding replacement, will require building permits and inspection. Ask your contractor for a copy of the permit for your records. If you are unsure if your contractor has obtained a permit, contact the Building Department at 860-844-5318 to verify it.

Now that the summer construction season has arrived, a common project is to install or construct storage buildings or sheds. These buildings do require building permits and proper inspections. Although these structures seem insignificant it is important that they be properly placed on the property. Not only is it necessary to meet certain setbacks for zoning purposes, but it is also important that the buildings are not placed on top of septic systems or other underground utilities. In some cases there may be easements or rights-of-way that you cannot obstruct. If you have any questions about where a shed or outbuilding may go on your property, please call or visit the building department for more information at 860-844-5318

The Building Department is located in the Town Hall, 15 North Granby Road