Many Baltimore, Maryland, homeowners indulge in home improvement projects every year. But, many of them underestimate the importance of hiring a licensed contractor. So, today, we have decided to share some vital information about hiring contractors for home improvement projects which every homeowner should be aware of.
LICENSED vs. UNLICENSED CONTRACTORS
Hiring a licensed contractor for home improvement projects is recommended for several reasons, such as:
- A licensed contractor is a legitimate professional in the industry.
- A licensed contractor meets defined industry standards to uphold the license.
- Acquiring a license is an expensive endeavor for the contractor and maintaining it shows that the contractor is committed to remaining certified and legal.
- Holding a license reflects that the contractor is serious about his/her business and doesn’t cut corners when doing work that needs permits.
On the other hand, it is always advised not to hire an unlicensed contractor because:
- An unlicensed contractor is not a professional at all.
- An unlicensed contractor doesn’t bother to meet industry standards and guidelines.
- An unlicensed contractor cannot be trusted to complete the undertaken job and cannot give you the same assurance as a licensed contractor.
- An unlicensed contractor cuts corners to get the job done as he/she cannot attain any permits required for a given home improvement job.
Besides these, there are three main reasons which show that homeowners are benefited in several ways by hiring a licensed contractor.
(A) For Your Protection and Safety
While hiring a contractor, homeowners think that the contractor will be the one taking on any risk. It is valid only when you hire a licensed contractor. If you choose to hire an unlicensed contractor, you will need to assume some trouble, not only in quality but also in legal and financial consequences.
Suppose the work is not completed according to the local building codes, and your unlicensed contractor does not obtain any required permits. In that case, the value of your property can be impacted negatively. Moreover, you could even void the home insurance policy if a claim arises due to work done by an unlicensed contractor. An unlicensed contractor also doesn’t have any insurance.
But, this is not the case when you work with a licensed contractor. Every licensed contractor carries two types of insurance: liability and worker’s compensation. So, if something goes wrong, the licensed contractor’s liability insurance will protect you when some work is done incorrectly. The contractor will be liable to pay and cover the cost of damages and repairs. However, in the same scenario with an unlicensed contractor, you have to pay to fix the issues.
As for worker’s compensation, this insurance will protect you in case someone gets hurt. Without this insurance, the homeowner can be held responsible for the injury and may be sued by the unlicensed contractor or the injured worker to pay the medical bills.
(B) A Licensed Contractor Knows the Trade and Laws for Codes
Building codes for home improvement projects vary by state, and a licensed contractor always stays updated with the latest local building codes and knows this trade very well. So, hiring a licensed contractor in Baltimore, Maryland, means that your home improvements will follow local laws and codes, saving you from indulging in legal matters.
On the contrary, unlicensed contractors don’t feel obliged to follow the codes, and most are unaware of them. This may result in heavy penalties and fines if authorities find out that laws have been violated during your home improvement project.
(C) The Maryland Home Improvement Commission Will Back You Up If Anything Happens
The Maryland Home Improvement Commission is there for your support if anything happens during your home improvement or remodeling project and you file a complaint against your licensed contractor. The Commission investigates complaints, awards for monetary damages against licensed contractors, and prosecutes the violators.
Besides, it also has a Guaranty Fund (The Fund) through which homeowners are compensated for actual monetary losses due to poor workmanship or failure to follow the contract. This fund applies to only work done by licensed contractors. So, when you work with an unlicensed contractor, you cannot recover through The Fund.
By now, you can easily conclude that hiring a Licensed contractor in Baltimore, Maryland, for your home improvement project is safer, more beneficial, and cost-effective than an unlicensed contractor.
If you want to start the process and save money and time, call us today! 410-633-2308 . Our licensed MHIC 95803