Avoid Being Ripped Off by Unlicensed Contractor

Hiring an unlicensed contractor may be less expensive at first, but pinching pennies may end up costing so much more. Find out how to avoid getting scammed and ripped off by unlicensed contractors.

San Diego, CA, October 17, 2013 --(PR.com)-- Maverick Painting's owner, Jamie Waller has been in the painting industry since 1990. As an apprentice, it was a full year before Jamie was aloud to pick up a paint brush. His mentor taught Jamie a paint job is only as good as the prep work. Jamie provides tips and advice on how to get the best paint job.

Liability in the Bargain? The Dangers of Hiring an Unlicensed Contractor Homeowners and homeowners' associations often face expenses to maintain or repair their property. It makes sense to look for the most affordable contractor available to do the work. Many times, through friends or relatives, a homeowner will come across an unlicensed contractor during their search for a person to do the work. The unlicensed contractor will provide a bid that is much lower than bids from licensed contractors and promises to do the same work. It sounds so appealing to save money but still get great workmanship that many people fall into the trap and hire the unlicensed contractor. However, the cheapest contractor available might be the one that will cost the most in the long run.

It is true that having a contractor's license is not a guarantee that the work will be done well, or even properly. Since there is no guarantee that a licensed contractor will do a better job why should a homeowner or association care if the contractor has a license? The answer is simple--to protect the homeowner or association from a myriad of problems that could arise.

When is a License Required? The Contractors State License Board, a division of the California Department of Consumer Affairs, governs the issuance and supervision of contractors' licenses. The State License Board specifies a number of classifications for licensing and sets the standards necessary to receive the license. The contractor can only legally perform the work associated with the classification of the license they hold. A contractor must hold a valid contractors license for any work that will cost more than $500 in labor and material for any work that would fall into the classifications set by the License Board.

The California Contractors State License Board keeps records and publishes any complaints against a contractor. This actually does a number of things. First, any prospective client can go to the Contractors State License Board's website and research a contractor. Filed complaints or sanctions imposed on a contractor will be listed for anyone to see. Secondly, if there are enough complaints the contractor can lose the license they worked hard and spent a lot of money to obtain. It is a powerful incentive to do a competent professional job if your future livelihood depends upon it.

Further, since unlicensed contractors rarely have liability insurance or a bond, there is nothing to guarantee that there will be money available to repair any defects in construction that are found after the contractor is paid and the construction completed. This would mean that the entire burden of fixing the mistake could fall on the homeowners.

Check a contractors references. Can they provide phone numbers or emails to previous clients? Do they have pictures of current work? Check Yelp to see honest reviews.

Always get references and multiple bids on the work. And if something is too good to be true, it probably is.
Maverick Painting
Jamie Waller
480 678 1926