Licensed Contractor vs. Handyman- Part 2

March 11, 2021by melissad0

Homeowners May Have to Pay for Additional Repairs

Beyond assuming the responsibility for injured workers, you also need to be wary of shoddy workmanship.

While there is no guarantee that a licensed contractor’s work will be any better than that of an unlicensed contractor, their work will at least be protected by liability insurance and legally enforceable contracts called bonds.

A bond will protect the property owner should there be any damages caused to your property during the remodel, Contractor license bonds will state that your contractor will work within certain regulations and protect you against the risk of financial loss.

The bond and the licensed contractor’s liability insurance both exist to cover you in the instance that the work done is unsatisfactory.

However, an unlicensed contractor is bound by no such agreement. If their work is unsatisfactory, they are bound by nothing to fix their mistakes, and you may have to pay someone else to come and make the necessary repairs. These repairs may be more expensive than hiring the licensed contractor in the first place.

Using a Handyman Could Hurt Your Property Value

You read that correctly — using an unlicensed contractor can actually hurt your home’s property value. How?

Well, the unlicensed contractor has to cut corners in order to complete your project at cost savings to you. This includes acquiring the proper building permit for the job.

Much of the work performed in rental property requires a building permit from the city, county, or state. Think roof replacement, water heater replacement, heating/ventilation/air conditioning replacement – all require permits.  Licensed contractors will always attain them, however, unlicensed contractors cannot, and so they skip this step and do not apply for them.

This can become an issue when you decide to sell the property, as you may be required to disclose certain information to your buyers (1- 4 units). Failing to disclose this information could actually come back on you and become your liability later.

Liability for Damage to Third Party

Not only do you need to worry about the safety of your unlicensed contractors and subcontractors, but for your renters, their guests,  a neighbor or anyone who happens to pass by your work site. Should anyone sustain an injury due to a sloppy work site or falling debris or inappropriate behavior, this is another area for which you could be held liable.

So…what can a handyman do?

An unlicensed handyman can perform a wide range of services as long as the scope of work is less than $500 per job (including labor and materials).

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