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New Jersey Implements Stricter Regulations for Home Improvement Contractors

New Jersey has recently made significant changes to its laws governing home improvement contractors through the enactment of the “Home Improvement and Home Elevation Contractor Licensing Act.” As of January 8, 2024, Assembly Bill A2138 has been approved and signed into law as P.L.2023, c.237. This recent development underscores the state’s ongoing commitment to regulating the home improvement and home elevation contracting industry.


Creation of the New Oversight Board:

A pivotal aspect of the legislation is the establishment of the New Jersey State Board of Home Improvement and Home Elevation Contractors. Comprising home improvement contractors, trade association representatives, and public members chosen by key state figures, this board is entrusted with shaping the industry’s landscape.

Responsibilities of the Oversight Board:

The oversight board has been assigned the crucial task of formulating education and training prerequisites for contractors. Additionally, it will be responsible for the issuance of licenses, development of a code of ethics, and establishment of standards of conduct within the industry. Notably, contractors with a decade or more of experience are temporarily exempt from licensing, receiving licenses upon the renewal of their current registration.

Contract Requirements:

Assembly Bill A2138 further mandates that contractors provide a comprehensive written contract to consumers before commencing work. This contract must include essential details such as the contractor’s registration number, the scope of work, pricing details, and the project’s start and end dates. These provisions aim to enhance transparency and protect consumers’ interests.

Licensing Requirements for Less Experienced Contractors:

Under this bill, licensure is mandated for each type of contractor, reinforcing the state’s focus on ensuring professionalism and accountability.

Contractors with less experience face stricter entry requirements. They must provide evidence of completing an accredited apprenticeship or trade school program, demonstrate two years of experience under the direct oversight of a registered contractor, or fulfill education requirements and pass an examination determined by the oversight board.

The law also allows individuals to provide services in a limited specialty of home improvement or home elevation if they meet specific requirements set by the Board.

If a home improvement contractor earns less than $1,500 per contract or $25,000 annually, they are exempt from the licensing requirement.

Renewal and Continuing Education:

To maintain their licenses, contractors are obligated to renew them every other year, contingent upon good standing and completion of a continuing education program. The renewal process aims to ensure that contractors stay abreast of industry developments and maintain high professional standards.

Insurance Mandates:

In alignment with the new regulations, contractors are now required to maintain liability and workers compensation insurance. These measures contribute to enhanced consumer protection and ensure that contractors uphold the quality of their services. Furthermore, contracting businesses are required to post compliance bonds as a security measure against potential claims by consumers and the oversight board.

Grounds for License Revocation:

The oversight board possesses the authority to revoke licenses in cases of fraudulent activity, gross misconduct, negligence, or any conduct inconsistent with public welfare. Municipalities are prohibited from issuing construction permits to contractors without active licenses, including those temporarily exempt pending registration renewal.

Penalties for Violations:

The law includes provisions for penalties in case of violations of the act, further emphasizing the state’s commitment to enforcing compliance and maintaining high standards within the industry.


The recent legislative changes in New Jersey underscore the state’s commitment to ensuring the integrity and professionalism of home improvement contractors.