No matter how you get referred to your contractor, you still need to make sure that they are properly licensed. There is a purpose to these laws and that purpose is to protect you and your home from unscrupulous contractors. The whole licensing process ensures that any contractor you work with is competent and it helps to weed out the dishonest contractors. If any contractor that offers you a quote they should have a license to go along with it, and they are qualified to complete your home renovation. Here are some other reasons that you need to hire a licensed contractor.
It’s Required by Law
Each and every state has its own licensing board that oversees professional contractors. Each state is different and the rules in California may be very different from the requirements in New York. Check with your local authorities before hiring any contractor to make sure they really are licensed.
One of the perks of using a licensed contractor is that should anything happen you can take advantage of the dispute resolution program run by the state to resolve the situation. The state funds any compensation that may be owed to you, but this only works if you work with a licensed contractor.
Working with a General Contractor
If you are building a house or have a big home renovation project planned you will likely deal with a general contractor for the project. They will supervise the entire project, get the right permits, buy the needed materials and hire any subcontractors that are needed. The licensing process for your general contractor will vary from state to state, but the license doesn’t authorize your general contractor to do every part of the project. Check with the requirements in your state. Here is an example, the general contractor will not likely be licensed to do any plumbing, that would be subcontracted to a licensed plumber. This brings us to the next point.
In addition to being licensed to do home construction there are specific trades that have additional licenses that are necessary, some of those are plumbing and electrical. If you are doing a total kitchen renovation you will need both an electrician and a plumber to work on the project too. This license lets you know that your plumber or electrician are competent to do the work, you do not want an unlicensed electrician wiring your home!
You may not be a contractor yourself but you should understand all the aspects of your project, it is far easier to fix mistakes in the beginning. It is also a good idea to work hand in hand with your contractor to make sure that the timelines are being met.