How Do I Know If My Contractor is Licensed?

Any home improvement project you do on your home is a big deal, which is why you want to make sure that it is done right. There are some projects that you can do by yourself, or with some assistance from friends or family. However, there are bigger projects that require the use of a general contractor and a crew. If that is the case, then you need to be absolutely sure that your contractor is licensed. Hiring an unlicensed contractor can cause a whole range of problems that can snowball to create even bigger problems, problems that cost a lot of money and time. So make sure that you find a contractor who is licensed, Seattle residents can employ the services of Home Care Contractors for their home improvement needs.

Why Do I Need a Licensed Contractor?

Hiring an unlicensed contractor might be tempting because they almost always offer lower prices than licensed contractors. However, they also come with more risks than licensed contractors. Since they are unlicensed, they might not be able to get permits to perform the jobs you need them to do. This might not seem like a big deal as long as they get the job done, but it can have serious consequences. 

 

For one is that it could have a detrimental effect on the property value of your house if word got out that you used an unlicensed contractor. You could also end up voiding your homeowner’s insurance policy if a claim arises because of work done by the unlicensed contractor. That is assuming that their work is any good in the first place since a good job is hardly a guarantee with an unlicensed contractor.

Why You Should Hire a Licensed Contractor

There are many reasons, but let’s start with the fact that licensed contractors must have liability insurance and worker’s compensation, both of which help to protect you in case something goes wrong. Liability insurance protects you in case any damage is done to your property during the contracting job. If, for example, a wall gets damaged, then the contractor’s liability insurance will pay for it. If the contractor is unlicensed, then they will not have any liability insurance, which means that you will have to pay for the repairs. 

 

That is because homeowner’s insurance does not usually pay for damage caused by the contractor. The same goes for any injuries suffered by anyone employed by the contractor. Worker’s Compensation will cover any of those kinds of injuries, but if the contractor is unlicensed, and an injury occurs on your property, then the injured person could sue you to pay for their medical bills. 

 

A licensed contractor will also have all the permits needed to perform the job at hand. That is because their licensing and training ensures that they are familiar with all the rules and requirements set by the local and federal government. That is important should you ever plan to sell your home because buyers will want to know if the right permits were used in any renovations or builds on the house.

How To Find Out If a Contractor is Licensed

Fortunately, there are a large number of online resources where you can find out if a contractor is licensed or not. You can visit sites like the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, Home Advisor, The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, and more besides those. Just enter the name of your prospective contractor into the required fields to find out if they are licensed or not. That will let you know if it is safe to hire them to work on your house.

Only Use a Licensed Contractor In Your Home

An unlicensed contractor may be cheaper initially, but they could end up costing you more in the long run. You have to worry about damage to your property or injuries suffered on your property, plus they will not have the proper permits for the job, which could eventually lead to trouble. Worst of all, you can’t even be sure that they will do a good job in the end, which means that you will have to pay money to fix any of the mistakes caused by the unlicensed contractor. It just isn’t worth it. Only hire a licensed contractor to work on your home. They will be safer and more efficient than an unlicensed contractor and there is a far better chance that you will be satisfied with the job in the end.

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