So you have a vision to remodel your home or business. It’s a hefty undertaking, one that could turn into an immense investment of time, money and energy -- but also one that may be entirely worth it, helping you save money on future repairs and giving you the opportunity to live in the home of your dreams. And it doesn’t need to be so challenging -- that is, if you pick the right person for the job.
When it comes to remodeling, you may be tempted to try to do the job yourself or to hire a friend, family member, or local handyman with experience in the work at hand, maybe because they offer cheaper prices than a professional would, or because you want to help them out by giving them some work, or maybe just because you know them and you like them. But doing so may cost you more money and cause you more stress in the process.
But, you might wonder, what is the difference between using a licensed contractor for your remodeling work and using an unlicensed one?
Well, licensing rules and requirements vary from state to state, but generally, you can assume that in order to become a licensed home remodeler, an individual or entity will have had to fulfill the following:
Obtain a high school diploma or equivalent
Undergo a criminal history background check
Pass a licensing exam that will cover topics such as
Possess a bond
Resolve any outstanding contracting complaints
Why should you use a licensed home remodeler?
Though it may seem as though the differences between a licensed home remodeler and an unlicensed are relatively superficial, there are actually many benefits that come along with choosing a licensed home remodeler (and many risks for not doing so).
With a licensed contractor, you can count on them holding a surety bond or declare an Assignment of Account (which would allow them to put up cash without a bond broker). This bond will enable your contractor to compensate you should something occur that prevents them from finishing the work they were contracted, as well as any damages that may occur.
A license will also ensure that they have liability insurance coverage, as well as worker’s compensation, which will protect you if your home incurs any damage during the remodeling process or if one of your contractor’s employees is injured on the job.
A licensed home remodeler will likely have longer history of experience with projects similar to yours, and possess the professional connections to get you the materials you need, often at a discounted rate.
They will be more familiar with the rules and regulations (as well as any necessary permits, etc.) that will make your home a safe (and code compliant) place to live.
What are the risks of using an unlicensed home remodeler?
With an unlicensed remoder, you run the risk of losing money on low-quality (or non-code-compliant) work that will require further work, repairs, or modifications.
Even more importantly, if something goes wrong, you won’t have the opportunity to seek recourse through AZ ROC (Arizona Registrar of Contractors), which you would if your contractor had been licensed (for more information, visit https://roc.az.gov/ ).
Employing an unlicensed contractor could negatively affect your ability to use your homeowner’s insurance, should a claim arise related to the work done on your home.
It should also be noted that it is illegal to use an unlicensed contractor if the cost of your project (including labor or materials) exceeds $1,000.
There are a few things, however, you’ll want to keep in mind when choosing a contractor for your next remodeling job. Certain ads, even in the yellow pages of your phonebook, may lead you to falsely believe a contractor is licensed even if they’re not. How can you be sure? Ask for proof of a license and insurance, and call the Registrar of Contractors to confirm it or by checking, here. For more information on how to make sure you get the work you asked for, expected, and deserve, visit the Arizona Registrar of Contractors here: https://roc.az.gov/before-hire.
High Caliber Construction has the license and experience to provide you with the safe and quality remodeling work you want. Contact us today.