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“May I see your license?”  Unlicensed contractors cost less for a reason.  They don’t have to abide by laws or regulations.  They don’t carry insurance and cannot or will not cover damaging losses to your home.  They do not guarantee their work or provide workers’ comp or insurance to their employees.  Yet, homeowners, often unknowingly, trust unlicensed contractors with the safety of their homes and families daily.

Licensed and insured HVAC contractors are often called to homes where a system has failed only to discover that an unreputable contractor completed the work.  Joe Lindstrom, general manager for Lindstrom Air Conditioning, comments on the dangers of not doing your due diligence when hiring a heating and cooling technician or plumber, “Unlicensed contractors will go to great lengths to appear licensed, and for good reason.  Some will go as far as painting a number on their truck because they know the value of doing licensed work and insuring your people.  A license is essentially a guarantee and requires us to follow laws and regulations to protect homeowners and our work.”  Hiring an unlicensed contractor or plumber will often result in more costs and heartache than going with a reputable company from the start.

Dangers of Hiring an Unlicensed Contractor or Plumber

  • You risk voiding your manufacturer’s warranty.  Unlicensed contractors cannot perform warranty work without written permission from the manufacturer stating they can do so.  Many times you won’t be able to contact the contractor responsible to fix the issue.  Avoid the costs and embarrassment of cutting corners on a contractor and ask to see the license.
  • You put yourself, your home and your family in danger.  When you open your door to an unlicensed contractor, you open your home to a stranger who has already broken the law by working without one.  While rare, we have heard stories of unlicensed contractors or their workers taking items while homeowners are away, selling contents of a home or even copying keys to return later to commit a crime.  Your family and home are not worth the immediate cost savings of allowing an unlicensed stranger to complete work in your home.
  • You risk damaging and shortening the life of your equipment.  You will not receive a guarantee with your unlicensed work.  You may even cost yourself more in repairs and early replacements that could have been avoided.  If an electrical hookup is not done correctly, you may even risk everything if a fire breaks out.
  • You are liable for damage or injuries an unlicensed contractor may cause or incur in your home.  You may think you are getting a deal, but if an unlicensed worker slips, falls or damages your home while working- you will be liable for the damages.  It is always a good idea to ask if a worker is covered by an insurance and workers’ comp insurance plan. 

Using unlicensed or improperly trained contractors can be dangerous and expensive.  Don’t risk the health of your wallet, family or home.  Call us today.

www.achrnews.com The Dangers of Unlicensed Contracting.

June 16, 2014