When it comes to remodeling or constructing a new home, things can get pricey in a hurry. If you’re like most folks who’ve never been through the process of working with a contractor before, you’ll probably find yourself wondering: Isn’t there some way to save a few bucks? Is there someone out there who could do decent work for less expense? Cue the unlicensed, uninsured contractor.
On paper, hiring an unlicensed or uninsured worker can look like a good way to cut a few corners and lower your project budget. Many unlicensed and uninsured contractors are able to work at a cheaper rate (because they aren’t paying for proper licensing and insurance). While many are amateurs, beginners, or—much worse—scam artists, some are skilled workers who may be able to reference previous successful projects.
We aren’t here to speak poorly of anyone or belittle anyone’s work. However, we are here to extend a word of caution—when it comes to contracting labor, you really do get what you pay for. And while hiring an unlicensed, uninsured contractor might seem like the cheaper offer right off the bat, you’ll almost certainly end up paying for the mistake sooner or later.
How Unlicensed Contractors Can Become the More Expensive Option
If a licensed contractor causes unintentional damage to your home, you can rest assured that the damage will be covered by their liability insurance. An unlicensed, uninsured contractor though? Not so.
If your contractor isn’t covered by proper licensing and insurance, a would-be small issue can easily turn into a money pit. You may be financially responsible for repairing whatever damage was caused. Even more, your property value may decrease depending on what kind of damage we’re talking about. In the very worst scenarios, you may even find out down the road that the extra bedroom, bathroom, or addition you added to your home wasn’t built up to code. Hiring a licensed contractor, on the other hand, ensures that your project will be completed legally and safely.
Speaking of Safety, Contractor Safety Can Turn Into Your Liability
While we always hope, of course, that no one is injured on the job, accidents happen . . . And if they happen on your property, to a worker who is uninsured, you might be getting the bill. Because unlicensed/uninsured workers aren’t backed by worker’s compensation, any injury that happens on your property can mean that you’re responsible for medical bills and compensation for the time the injured worker is kept away from their job, with legal fees added on top of that. Reputable contractors carry insurance to avoid unfortunate situations like these.
Choosing to work with an unlicensed contractor comes at a huge risk and can end up costing you more in the long run.
That’s why we here at JC Smith pride ourselves on making sure that all of our team members—including full-time employees, contractors, and anyone else you might come into contact with throughout the process of one of our projects— are properly licensed and insured to protect you, your assets, and our crews.
Interested in talking with us about your next project? Have questions about how our licensing and insurance works? Contact us here to start a conversation. We can’t wait to hear from you!