You may have heard about this already, but there was a recent sting operation in Cayucos that resulted in legal action against 18 unlicensed contractors.
This leads to a valuable question: why is it important to hire a contractor who is licensed? What are the benefits for you as a homeowner? And conversely, what are the potential dangers that you’re avoiding?
4 Reasons Why Hiring an Unlicensed Contractor Can Be Dangerous
#1 - The Risk May Be Bigger Than You Realize
A contractor who is not licensed may also not be bonded or insured. This means that if there is property damage (or physical harm) during the process, you are left unprotected and responsible for costs incurred. Essentially, whether you realize it or not, you become the project manager!
Being uninsured and unlicensed is really a sign of negligence in many cases, and shows a lack of responsibility that should concern you as a homeowner.
#2 - Your Work May Be Stopped
A building inspector has the power to halt the project if the work is being performed by an unlicensed and uninsured contractor. To put it mildly, this can be a major inconvenience for you (imagine a half-remodeled kitchen!).
#3 - Lack of Accountability
Did you know that the California Contractors State License Board maintains and publishes records of complaints against licensed professionals? Someone who is unlicensed can fly under the radar much more easily, leaving a trail of problematic work behind them without accountability.
#4 - The Price May Be Attractive, But At What Cost?
Beware of a low bid on a project (for details about how hiring an unlicensed contractor can cost you, take a look at this article from Angie’s List)! It may seem attractive, but do you really know what kind of work you can expect? Obtaining a license through the proper channels requires competency, and that is a far cry from simply claiming to have a skill. The gamble is just never worth the risk. For the sake of your peace of mind and property value, it’s essential to put your home in the hands of a true professional.
Know Your Pro!
We always encourage homeowners to do their research and get to know the person/team they’re hiring. There should be a clear, consistent track record of excellent work, accountability, and adherence to the rules. Your home deserves nothing less!