Known by such monikers as “fly-by-nighters,” “chuck-in-a-truck,” and “moonlighters,” unlicensed contractors are likely approaching homeowners in your neighborhood right now. While these under-the-table workers may offer what seems like a great bargain, their discounted prices may end up costing much more in the end.
Housing starts declined 4.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 529,000 units in the final month of 2010, according to figures released by the U.S. Department of Commerce. However, the year-end data indicate that production of new homes improved 6.1 percent in 2010 over 2009. On another positive note, permit issuance for construction of new homes and apartments rose 16.7 percent in December.