Kansas City is growing and so is your investment, your home. Therefore, it is important to protect your investment. Hiring a licensed contractor in Kansas City that looks out for you and your investment is important.  When a home owner decides to make home improvements or repairs, they usually ask their friends and family for referrals from companies they have used.  They sometimes use the internet to seek qualified professionals.  In the 2017 Consumer Federation Report of the top consumer complaints, “Home Improvement/Construction:Shoddy work, failure to start or complete the job” was number two on the list.  However they choose to seek professional assistance for their home improvements, it is important to inquire if the professional is licensed and insured or not.

License Requirements

Firstly, I’d like to point out that each state; county and city do not have the same requirements for the contractors. It is important that the homeowner inquire about your municipality’s requirement. A general contractor’s license requires contractors to have workman’s compensation and liability insurance. By law the general contractor is required to work within the limits of their contracting license. This information is available on a state, county or city general contracting license page.

A licensed contractor has invested in higher education, licensing fees, insurance and continuing education in order to become and remain current as a licensed contractor. A licensed contractor wants to insure that the homeowner is confident in his ability to make improvements to their home. He recognizes the importance of the homeowners trust.

Hiring a company that chooses not to be licensed and insured can save the home owner money. These individuals or companies can operate at a cheaper rate, thus bidding your job for less money.  It’s important to understand that the unlicensed contractor cannot pull permits for home remodeling.  Make sure that the contractor being hired is not using someone else’s license to pull permits.

Possible Problems

If the project does not comply with building codes; they will be ordered to either remove the structure or bring it up to code. Not to mention a possible stop work order can be ordered by an associated jurisdictional authority. This will cost the homeowner more money. The contractor pulling the permit is legally responsible for the project.

If a contractor is using someone else’s license and there is a problem, he cannot make the changes. The contractor whose license was used has to come and make the repairs to bring it up to code. As a result, he may charge the home owner for his time.  A homeowner needs to insure that the contractor they are hiring has their best interest at heart. It’s a risk the home owner will need to assess.

The homeowner may be getting a better price initially. Ultimately, they usually get what they pay for in a contractor. Often times the unlicensed contractor is not as experienced and his work is less than adequate. CH Construction occasionally will receive a call from a home owner requesting us to repair the work of the unlicensed contractor. The home owner is now paying two contractors to complete the same project.  Unfortunately, by choosing a cheaper rate in the beginning, they may pay twice the money on the original project.

How to Avoid Costly Mistakes

How can the homeowner avoid these types of mistakes? Check references on the contractor they are hiring. In addition, call the county, state or city in which the contractor is licensed.  They can verify his license is valid. If you know someone is looking to start a home improvement project, be sure to share this blog. If we can be of assistance, give us a call at CH Construction and ask for Brandt, the owner.  We would be happy to help you with your next home improvement project.