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§ 517.2. Definitions

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated StatutesTitle 73 P.S. Trade and CommerceEffective: October 22, 2014

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes
Title 73 P.S. Trade and Commerce (Refs & Annos)
Chapter 14B. Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act
Effective: October 22, 2014
73 P.S. § 517.2
§ 517.2. Definitions
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
“Advertisement.” A statement promoting home improvement services in a newspaper, periodical, pamphlet, circular, billboard, sign, letterhead, business card or other printed materials or in announcements to the public on radio, television or the Internet. The term shall not include the following:
(1) Sponsorship or recognition of sponsorships of civic, charitable or nonprofit events, teams or purposes.
(2) Writings or graphics on promotional clothing, pens, pencils, notepads or similar items.
“Arbitration clause.” A process in which a neutral arbitrator or panel of neutral arbitrators is engaged by the parties to settle a dispute between a contractor and an owner.
“Bureau.” The Bureau of Consumer Protection in the Office of Attorney General.
“Certificate.” A certificate of registration as a contractor, issued by the Bureau of Consumer Protection, which contains a registration number assigned by the Bureau of Consumer Protection.
“Contractor.” Any person who owns and operates a home improvement business or who undertakes, offers to undertake or agrees to perform any home improvement. The term includes a subcontractor or independent contractor who has contracted with a home improvement retailer, regardless of the retailer's net worth, to provide home improvement services to the retailer's customers. The term does not include any of the following:
(1) A person for whom the total cash value of all of that person's home improvements is less than $5,000 during the previous taxable year.
(2) A home improvement retailer having a net worth of more than $50,000,000 or an employee of that retailer that does not perform home improvements.
“Home improvement.”
(1) The term includes all of the following done in connection with land or a portion of the land adjacent to a private residence or a building or a portion of the building which is used or designed to be used as a private residence for which the total cash price of all work agreed upon between the contractor and owner is more than $500:
(i) Repair, replacement, remodeling, demolition, removal, renovation, installation, alteration, conversion, modernization, improvement, rehabilitation or sandblasting.
(ii) Construction, replacement, installation or improvement of driveways, swimming pools, pool houses, porches, garages, roofs, siding, insulation, solar energy systems, security systems, flooring, patios, fences, gazebos, sheds, cabanas, landscaping of a type that is not excluded under paragraph (2)(vi), painting, doors and windows and waterproofing.
(iii) Without regard to affixation, the installation of central heating, air conditioning, storm windows or awnings.
(2) The term does not include:
(i) The construction of a new home.
(ii) The sale of goods or materials by a seller who neither arranges to nor performs, directly or indirectly, any work or labor in connection with the installation or application of the goods or materials.
(iii) The sale of services furnished for commercial or business use or for resale, if the service takes place somewhere other than at a private residence.
(iv) The sale of appliances, including stoves, refrigerators, freezers, room air conditioners and others which are designed for and are easily removable from the premises without material alteration.
(v) Any work performed without compensation by the owner of the owner's private residence or residential rental property.
(vi) Any work performed by a landscaper certified by the Department of Agriculture under the act of December 16, 1992 (P.L. 1228, No. 162),1 known as the Plant Pest Act, except to the extent that the work involves any of the following at a private residence:
(A) The construction, replacement, installation or improvement of buildings, driveways, swimming pools, porches, garages, roofs, siding, insulation, solar energy systems, security systems, flooring, patios, nondecorative fences, doors, lighting systems, concrete walkways and windows.
(B) The placement of retaining walls, fountains or drainage systems.
(vii) Emergency work pursuant to section 7 of the act of December 17, 1968 (P.L. 1224, No. 387),2 known as the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.
(viii) The conversion of existing commercial structures into residential or noncommercial structures.
“Home improvement contract.” An agreement between a contractor, subcontractor or salesperson and an owner for the performance of a home improvement which includes all agreements for labor, services and materials to be furnished and performed under the contract.
“Home improvement retailer.” A person, whether or not the person is registered under this act, who sells materials for use in home improvement contracts.
(1) The term includes any of the following:
(i) An owner of a private residence, including any person authorized by an owner to act on the owner's behalf to order, contract for or purchase a home improvement.
(ii) A person entitled to the performance of the work of a contractor pursuant to a home improvement contract.
(2) An owner of a private residence shall not be required to reside in the residence to be deemed an owner under this act.
(3) A person who owns three or more private residences in this Commonwealth shall not be deemed an owner except with respect to the person's primary residence or the part of the building which houses the primary residence of the owner and those private residences the person uses for personal recreational purposes.
“Person.” An individual, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, joint venture or corporation.
“Private residence.” Any of the following:
(1) A single family dwelling.
(2) A multifamily dwelling consisting of not more than two units.
(3) A single unit located within any multifamily dwelling, including condominiums and cooperative units.
“Special order material.” Any material, product or equipment that is not a stock item and must be specially ordered from the factory or distributor and which is produced or processed for the contractor for a specific home improvement contract. Special order materials are not returnable by the contractor for a refund or credit and have no usefulness for other home improvement contracts because they are specially ordered for a specific home improvement contract.
“Specifications.” The plans, detailed drawings, lists of materials, stated allowances or other methods customarily used in the home improvement industry as a whole to describe with particularity the work, workmanship, materials and quality of materials for each home improvement.
“Time and materials.” A construction practice where the contractor and owner agree that the contractor will perform the home improvement and the owner will pay the contractor under the home improvement contract based on the actual cost of labor at a specified hourly rate and the actual costs of materials and use of equipment, plus an agreed-upon percentage of the total actual costs or a fixed amount, over and above the actual costs, to cover the contractor's fee and overhead costs reasonably incurred in the performance of the home improvement.


2008, Oct. 17, P.L. 1645, No. 132, § 2, effective July 1, 2009. Amended 2011, July 7, P.L. 262, No. 52, § 1, imd. effective; 2014, Oct. 22, P.L. 2567, No. 160, § 1, imd. effective.


3 P.S. § 258.1 et seq.
73 P.S. § 201-7.
73 P.S. § 517.2, PA ST 73 P.S. § 517.2
Current through the end of the 2023 Regular Session. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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