Hiring a Licensed Contractor Pays Big Dividends on Your Important Construction Job

September 19, 2011

According to the California State License Board (CSLB), Californians spend $10 billion yearly on construction projects, including renovations and remodeling. That equates to hiring many contractors across a wide variety of trades. With so much construction occurring every year, there are bound to be jobs that don’t go so well. No one wants to face a problem with his building job. Avoid most problems the easiest way by hiring a licensed contractor.

In California, as in many states, licensed contractors must demonstrate proficiency in their craft through testing, be fingerprinted, insured and bonded. They must undergo an FBI background check before their license is final. With so many precautions, problems rarely occur with licensed contractors like C.A.G.E. Design Build; yet, it is wise to be knowledgeable about potential areas of concern.

The most common problems homeowners face during a construction project include workers’ compensation and liability insurance, mechanic’s liens, and resolving disputes.

A licensed contractor is legally allowed to hire sub-contractors, or use his own employees for different aspects of the job. These workers will be covered by the insurance a licensed contractor must carry. A homeowner who hires an unlicensed contractor runs the risk of that contractor not carrying the proper insurance, and will be liable for any on-the-job injuries. Construction is a risky business; don’t gamble on having to pay expensive hospital bills.

Regarding liens: Even if a homeowner has already paid the prime contractor for services or materials, and the contractor fails to pay it forward, the homeowner may be subject to mechanic’s liens. Legally, the homeowner is ultimately responsible for all payments, so by simply hiring a licensed contractor a homeowner may not be completely immune to mechanic’s liens. According to the CSLB, “a mechanic’s lien is a “hold” against your property that, if unpaid, allows a foreclosure action.” This could lead to a forced home sale, if severe enough.

And all of this brings us to resolving disputes. Having an agency on your side in the event of a dispute you simply cannot resolve with your licensed contractor is the greatest safety net. You can file a formal complaint with the CSLB and their team of professionals will quickly work with you both to resolve the issues.

Remember, in California any job over $500 in materials and/or labor requires a licensed contractor, if you are not acting as the owner/builder. Save yourself time and guarantee peace of mind by getting several bids and only hiring only licensed, professional contractors like the team at C.A.G.E. Design Build (see our license here).

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