Why You Should Hire Licensed General Contractors Near Me
Perhaps, you have heard a lot of horror stories about homeowners who ended up hiring terrible contractors. But this should not deter you from hiring an honest and experienced professional the next time you will need to get your house remodeled or constructed.
If you verify ahead of time if the contractor you will hire is licensed and insured, then you can minimize serious problems along the way. In fact, there is a local code that will require all general contractors to be licensed. You may want to verify with the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation to know if they are equipped with the proper licenses before you hire them.
Why Is It Necessary to Choose a Licensed Contractor Over the Others?
Ensuring that your contractor has the proper license and insurance before you hire them can surely save you a lot of grief along the way. Below are more reasons why licensure is very important.
- Save money redoing the home plans – the local government will require that contractors meet the strict eligibility criteria on contractor licensing before getting a license. Thus, you can be rest assured that licensed general contractors near me can certainly delivery high quality of services.
Unlicensed contractors cannot guarantee the same in terms of quality. In fact, there are cases where one homeowner ended up spending up to $120,000 for a general contractor in over the course of 15 years, only to know that the work rendered is substandard and will unfortunately need to be redone. Although they generally allow you to collect restitution for the work done by professionals who are not licensed, some unscrupulous professionals will simply leave immediately right after the work is completed and you might not be able to collect the payment. Others may also not have any money to repay you.
- Receive insurance coverage – although licensed contractors will be less likely to give you problems, they still are humans and are well capable to make mistakes. Fortunately, licensed GCs will almost always have the proper insurance, which gets you covered in the event that something goes awry while the project is going on.
There are also some states that will not require for the contractors to be insured in order for them to provide services. Thus, it is best to verify this first. You will be able to sleep easier if you know that any possible damages can be covered in the event that something goes wrong.
- Work trustworthiness – trust is absolutely important when you hire a company to work for you. This should be the same when it comes to working with GCs. Those that do not have a license are difficult to trust. Since they are already breaking the law openly, they could try to scam you in some other way. But this is not the case with licensed contractors. They are monitored closely by the consumer affairs and you can be rest assured that they abide by the laws and regulations. Only a few will be willing to take the risk of getting their licensed revoked by openly exploiting their customers.
Beware of Contractor Scams
It is usually rare that a project will go from start to finish without doing at least a few changes, which the customer will be requesting. The alteration could be as simple as changing the style of the light fixture or giving the wall a new color.
However, some changes might require more work and more money to spend for the cost of material that the companies will impose, which they will refer as extra charges. How these are to be addressed must always be indicated in the written contract so that there will not be any unpleasant surprises once the job is completed.
What is even more important is that the company should inform you for any extra costs that you would need to pay before they perform the actual work. This should eliminate you from having to think that your final finished project is only $2,000 when in fact it is actually $5,000, including the $3,000 for the extras done, which you might have thought were trade-offs.
No License Price Break
At any time that you will be told by the remodeling companies that they will be able to give a lower price because of not having an insurance or license, then the conversation must end there. If you simply let the contractor, as well as their employees to work on your home even if they are unlicensed and have no proper insurance, you are making yourself liable financially should any of them get hurt during the course of the project.
Furthermore, it is almost a sure bet that those potential costs could dwarf any of the price breaks that you could receive. In addition, your insurance may not be able to cover any damages on your home in case of accidents or when the work is not completed because of the lack of proper credentials.
Beware of Upfront Payments
It is not at all unusual for companies to request for upfront payment before the job starts. This is what gives them a peace of mind that you are serious about the project. However, it must only be just a small percentage of the overall cost. Ideally, it should not be more than 10 percent. All of the other payments must be done according to the agreed upon draw schedule that is based on reaching a certain work milestone.
If the contractor will ask for a much bigger percentage right before the job is started, at best, this could be a sign that they are at a shaky financial ground and this could mean after they get their payment, you might not be able to see them ever again.
Any time the workers will start to perform work on your property, always insist for a written contract. All projects must come with a contract that includes the scope of work. The scope of work should explain in detail what is included on the quoted price. For instance, if you are expecting to pay a certain price range for three light fixtures that they will install for your home, then this should be included on the scope of work.
By following the tips above, you should be able to greatly reduce the changes of being taken for granted. All contracts must always be done in writing right before any work will be done on your home property. It should also have a detailed scope of work.
Moreover, you should insist that your contractor has the proper licensing and insurance and make sure that you ask for proof. You must always check with the local building inspection department to determine what is required in your local area.
Another way to know if the company can be trusted is to ask references. If possible, check their previous jobs and find out if it is to the best of your satisfaction. You may also talk to their suppliers to find out how these companies are. If they have problems in paying suppliers, this could mean that they are in a shaky financial ground. In this age of the Internet, there are various resources online that can help to protect homeowners against scams.