Dangers of Hiring Unlicensed Home Remodeling Contractors

Yesterday a potential client informed us they are going to take a risk and hire some “cheap desperate” workers for their upcoming home remodeling project.  Those were their words and our jaws dropped!  This home remodeling project is not small.  They intend on moving walls, adding plumbing, and relocating electrical wires in their home. We want to let you know that you can not afford “cheap” when you prepare to do a major home remodel.

Why would you trust your home, where you place all your valuables and your most prized possessions (your family) – to cheap and/or desperate workers?  You probably spent a small fortune on your home…. housing in California is not inexpensive.  So why, why would you want to risk having unskilled labor working on your home?  This conversation with this potential client prompted us to share with you the real dangers of hiring “cheap desperate” (unlicensed/unskilled) labor for your home remodeling project.

Personal Safety Dangers

Let’s face it.  The world is a dangerous place.  Everywhere you look there is a horror story about theft and fraud.  Finding someone that is standing on a corner looking to do some remodeling work in your home could be safe, but why take the risk?  Go ahead and hire that random guy who came knocking on your door to do your home remodeling project.  I am sure there are no real red flags there (insert sarcasm here!).  Is every handyman “out to get you”?  Of course not, We are saying that hiring an unlicensed and uninsured worker is probably not the best course of action.

Home Safety Dangers

You may not really think about the safety that is required when doing a home remodeling project.  Trust the professionals when we say there are hundreds of dangers with each home renovation.  If your home remodeling contractor does not know what he is doing, your bathroom remodel today could be the cause of your black mold in a year.  When your handyman that you hired because he is cheap is not trained on electrical work, you may encounter a house fire months or years later.

A handyman who does not alert you there is a live wire dangling on your countertop before he leaves for the day could cause you some undue heartache. If you or your loved ones get out of the shower and accidentally touch that live wire – you have a real problem on your hands!

Another scenario includes immediate damage to your home.  For example, what if your unskilled and unlicensed contractor uses a torch to do some plumbing and accidentally starts a fire?  An unlicensed contractor will not have liability insurance and most home insurance claims specifically exclude any damages to the home made by an unlicensed contractor.

Worker’s Dangers

As we mentioned, home remodeling is dangerous.  Accidents happen all the time and they are just that, accidents.  The problem is not the accident.  The problem is not having the proper insurance to cover yourselves when those accidents happen.

All it takes is one bad decision to create a situation that can cause great bodily hard when working with tools of the trades.  A defective tool can cause bodily injury.  A person could accidentally fall off a roof or a ladder.  If you hire an unlicensed and uninsured contractor to work on your home and they have an accident then guess whose insurance they are going after?  Yours.  However, when you work with a licensed contractor then they have worker’s compensation insurance which will cover them in the event of an accident.

Project Timelines and Completion

If you make the mistake of hiring an unlicensed contractor  there is very little legal recourse for you if the worker decides to skip out of town without completing your project.  Additionally, if the unlicensed contractor has “employees” working for him and he does not pay them for their hours, you may end up having people knocking on your door asking for money when you have already paid your unlicensed contractor.

Hire a Licensed and Insured Contractor!

We think we have given significant reasons for why you should spend the extra money to hire a licensed and insured contractor.  The potential costs associated with hiring an unlicensed contractor can include hiring an additional contractor to fix the unlicensed contractor’s work and the potential for significant damage to your home and/or bodily injury.

Why is home remodeling so expensive?

Home remodeling can be considered expensive when you are comparing the reality of remodeling prices to what you see on HGTV.  However, when you compare licensed contractors against other licensed contactors then chances are they are fairly close in price.  If there is one bid that is significantly lower or higher, that should be a red flag that something is included (or excluded) when it should not be.  Yes, remodeling is going to cost you several thousands of dollars but remodeling is a luxury expense.

Skilled labor is expensive.  They demand a higher wage because they have earned their education in the trade they are working on.  Insurance costs are on the rise for all the reasons listed above.  Quality materials are not cheap.  If you want a responsive company with responsive and skilled employees working on  your home, you will be paying a premium.

Working with a full service remodeling contractor ensures you do not have to do the heavy lifting of project management.  Construction materials are notorious for having defects, coming in wrong quantities, and having breaks during construction.  You will not need to manage and track materials which is a full time job all on its own.  A full service remodeling company takes care of all the hundreds of little problems that happen during the period of building the remodel.  If you are trying to save money you can hire a specialty licensed contractor and manage the construction process yourself instead of a general contractor – just research to see what type of contractors you need for your project.

One of the worse home remodeling mistakes you can make is hiring an unlicensed contractor to work on your home.  You can not afford free or cheap when working in construction!  When you are ready to start a major home renovation, reach out to licensed and insured contractors. There are plenty of places to find reputable remodeling companies for your upcoming home renovation.



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