Louisiana

Louisiana Construction and Home Improvement AssociationsIt is not unusual for fraudulent contractors to take advantage of victims after a natural disaster and flood the market with workers who are poorly trained, unlicensed and uninsured. Louisiana's Hurricane Katrina demolished over 300,000 homes and destroyed entire neighborhoods leaving them uninhabitable. The Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans became fearful the fraudulent contractors would tarnish the reputation of the home building and remodeling industry in Louisiana.

Contractors in the remodeling business do more work than other contractors after a nature disaster. After Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana homeowners needed remodeling contractors to restore their homes to a livable condition. Some homeowners paid contractors deposits of $16,000, in good faith, believing the contractor would restore their homes. But, the contractors were fraudulent and ran off with the hurricane victims money.

The fraudulent activity after Hurricane Katrina's caused a sharp rise in claims against contractors. The Louisiana State Licensing Board received complaints from homeowners about incomplete or poorly executed repairs. There were also complaints about out-of-state or unlicensed contractors. The Home Building Association's and State Licensing Board's suggestion to homeowners was to use licensed and insured Louisiana contractors. The LSLBC also placed Stop Work orders on the job of any unlicensed or unregistered contractor.

To further protect the public from fraudulent contractors, the HBA compiled a list of legitimate contractors skilled at doing storm remodeling and restoration. These contractors have a Residential Builder License and Home improvement Registration number. They can also provide proof of general liability and workers compensation insurance. And, a legitimate contractor will not ask for more that 10% down before they start working on a project.

Louisiana Home Builders Association

The motto of the LHBA is "Providing Louisiana with safe, affordable, quality housing." To accomplish their goal, the association works as an advocate of private property rights before state and regulatory bodies. The LHBA also promotes the importance of hiring licensed builders as a way to protect the health and safety of Louisiana homeowners.

Their push for stricter contractor licensing is an effort to increase professionalism in the home building industry. The Louisiana Licensing Law, which they were instrumental in creating, provides Louisiana homeowners effective protection from unqualified or fraudulent builders. The legislation makes it possible for the State Licensing Board to monitor building projects and ensure a contractor complies with requirements.

Other legislative victories the LHBA has had include the Workers Compensation Reform Bill, the prevention of the New Home Warranty Act, and improved accuracy of appraisals.

Louisiana Nursery and Landscape Association

The LNLA is a non-profit professional trade association for landscape contractors, landscape architects, grounds maintenance contractors, interior-scapers, and their suppliers. Membership provides landscapers education, marketing advice, and networking opportunities so they can learn how to protect the environment while promoting professionalism in the landscape industry.

Member benefits include access to research from the LSU AgCenter, networking opportunities with the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, legislative and lobbying efforts. The LNLA has partnerships with several other landscape associations in the southern states including the Mississippi Nursery and Landscape Association and the Southern Nursery Association.

The LNLA gives its members an opportunity to improve their knowledge of green industry standards through their LNLA Certified Nursery and Landscape Professional course. It is a two day review of the horticulture industry that will prepare students for their professional landscape exam. The course reviews plant classifications, pest control, landscape contracting, and tree management. The certificate awarded at the end of this course is not a replacement for the state licensing test, but prepares them for Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry's landscape contracting.

Click here to get quotes from garden landscapers in Louisiana.

Louisiana Association of Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors

The mission of the LAPHCC is to create a better trained workforce through the use of continuing education courses and apprenticeship programs. They believe the best way to advance their industry is to promote advances in plumbing as a way to improve the environment and keep residents healthy and safe.

Member benefits include networking with other professionals in the plumbing, heating and cooling industry to explore issues influential to P-H-C contractors. Once a member, their regional membership automatically entitles them to membership in the national organization where they can access the latest information on skilled labor, apprenticeships, continuing education credits, business management and financial advice.

The LAPHCC has an apprenticeship program at their schools in Shreveport and Baton Rouge. The program lasts four years and prepares students for their Journeyman Exam. Students are expected to attend 144 hours of classroom instruction annually and 2000 hours of on-the-job training. Apprentices learn under the supervision of a journeyman and must be at least 16 years old, have a high school diploma or GED. They will need to take a math entrance exam, complete an oral interview in additional to having the physical ability to perform the work.

The PHCC site has a searchable directory here. You can also use this site to get multiple quotes for plumbing and heating jobs.

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