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By : Brendan Mitchell, 02-09-2016

At some point or other, all homeowners need to hire a contractor to help repair or renovate their property. While some maintenance tasks can be handled by a layman, there are certain jobs that are better left to a professional.

But what is the difference between a layman and a professional? Is it a license? Is ‘unlicensed professional’ an oxymoron?

The reality is, a license can’t guarantee that you will be happy with the work of a contractor, just as the lack of a license doesn’t mean you will definitely be taken advantage of. But when it comes to insurance and safety, exclusively hiring licensed professionals is the logical choice. Hiring an unlicensed professional can expose you to risks that just aren’t worth the short term savings.

A licensed contractor is insured, and can be expected to follow safety codes and procedures. For example, the national electrical code is the standard for safe installation of electrical wiring and equipment, and is revised every three years. To become a licensed electrician, a contractor must demonstrate they are capable of following the code.

An unlicensed contractor may not be familiar with the latest version of the code, and could produce shoddy work, not to mention that even a minor mistake could result in serious injury or death. You could also be liable for medical fees if an unlicensed worker injures themselves while working on your property.

While it may seem more affordable to hire an unlicensed contractor in the short-term, you must always take in to account the potential long term costs when getting repairs or renovation. Un-doing the mistakes of an unlicensed contractor can be very costly, not to mention the fees associated with any legal action you or your ex-employee undertake.  

And how do you ensure you’re hiring a licensed contractor? Simple – ask. While this can be harder than it sounds, it’s extremely important to verify you are hiring someone qualified to repair or renovate your home. The earlier you can ask, the better. Something along the lines of: “While you set everything up, could I please see your contractor’s license and your General Liability Insurance card?”

So what are you paying for when you pay hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars more for a licensed contractor? Peace of mind. And it’s totally worth it.

The next time you need to hire a licensed contractor, consider submitting a request through EZBZ. We will connect you with the contractors in your area, so you can compare your options and hire the business that’s best for you. It’s free, quick, and easy.
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