10 Dec The Importance of Hiring a Licensed Contractor
Florida is perhaps one of the hardest states to earn a building license. The state also maintains and enforces some of the strictest building codes in the nation. This forces legitimate companies to provide quality work, however it is also a driving force in higher costs for the consumer.
So the question becomes; Is it worth a higher price to do business with a licensed contractor?
The answer is yes and here are the reasons why:
- A licensed contractor must furnish proof to the licensing board that they carry the proper insurance to cover your property and also their employees. This is probably the biggest reason as a consumer to use a licensed contractor. What if you are having your roof replaced and during the installation a bundle of shingles slides off the roof and lands on your car? A licensed contractor is required to carry general liability insurance that will cover your property should any damage occur during the job. If you are using an unlicensed contractor, you will most likely be paying for this damage yourself. Secondly, insurance is important to cover the employees in case of injury. If an unlicensed contractor has a person working on that same roof that falls and breaks a leg, then the homeowner can be sued for medical expenses as well as workers compensation for missed work. A licensed contractor is required to carry the insurance that protects there employees in case of an accident.
- Using a licensed contractor that pulls the proper permit gives the homeowner some piece of mind that an objective third party is going to inspect the work performed on your property. County or city inspectors are required to perform in progress and and final inspections to confirm all building codes have been followed.
- Carrying a building license is a way to make sure the contractor you choose has the knowledge and experience to handle your project. Florida’s licensing process is perhaps the most stringent in the country. It not only requires testing, but also proof of experience working with licensed contractors. Testing and book knowledge are one thing, but nothing substitutes the knowledge one gains by working in the field.
- The last reason to use a licensed contractor is for the overall well-being of the construction industry. To carry the proper license and insurance is not only expensive, but is also very time consuming. It is impossible for a legitimate company that follows the rules to compete with the pricing of unlicensed individuals. By the over-use of unlicensed individuals, many good contractors won’t be able to maintain their business.
Simply put, using licensed contractors not only protects the consumer, but also allows legitimate businesses to continue servicing those consumers.