So, you’ve made the decision to update, upgrade, or remodel part of your home. How exciting! The first step, of course, is to decide on the right home improvement contractor for the job. But hiring an unqualified home improvement contractor can take you on a path you never imagined.
You might look for a contractor with good online reviews or who specializes in your particular project type. Or maybe you’ll just take the lowest bidder. But, no matter how you find them, the home improvement contractor of your dreams could become your worst nightmare if they aren’t licensed, insured, and bonded.
Hiring an Unqualified Home Improvement Contractor: What Does Licensed Mean?
Every state has a licensing board of some kind to make sure contractors are following rules and running a legitimate business. A home improvement contractor has to pay fees and prove themselves worthy to get the licensing board’s stamp of approval. Also, they are incentivized to continue running an excellent business for fear of losing their license.
That means, if a contractor is not licensed, they will have no repercussions for cutting corners or being lazy. Hiring an unqualified home improvement contractor means that the person you hire has not been approved by the state for any sort of home improvement work. And that could be a major issue you never expected.
Avoiding Issues with an Unqualified Home Improvement Contractor: What Does Insured Mean?
There are two types of insurance a home improvement contractor should carry: liability and workers’ compensation. Liability insurance protects you in case your property or their equipment is damaged during the job. Workers’ compensation insurance protects you in case a worker is injured on the job.
That means, if a contractor doesn’t have insurance, you could be on the hook to pay for damage to your home or the medical bills and lost wages of a worker who is injured on your property.
An Unqualified Home Improvement Contractor Can Leave the Job Unfinished: What Does Bonded Mean?
Having a surety bond is kind of like having extra insurance. It means if the contractor can’t finish the job for some reason — for example, if they go out of business or can’t find workers — the bond would pay to have another contractor come finish the job. The bond would also step in in the unfortunate event that the contractor doesn’t come back to fix a major problem they caused. For example, if your house starts flooding because the contractor failed to put proper drainage in your new porch and they never came back to fix it, the bond will pay to have it remedied.
That means, if a contractor isn’t bonded, and they don’t finish the job, or refuse to come back and fix a major problem after they are finished, you could be stuck paying for another contractor and more construction yourself.
I Don’t Want to Hire an Unqualified Home Improvement Contractor! How Do I Make Sure My Contractor is Legit?
Making sure your contractor is licensed, insured, and bonded is as simple as asking for proof. Don’t let anyone make you feel awkward for asking. Reputable contractors should have the appropriate paperwork readily available. If they don’t, it’s probably time to keep looking.
How am I going to pay for this project? HFS Financial to the Rescue!
Don’t worry about finding a home improvement contractor you can trust. There are qualified contractors around the country who not only meet the requirements above, but who also offer all of the financing you need to get your home improvement project done right. You can trust that when a contractor partners with HFS Financial to find the best financing for your dream project plus have the licensing, insurance, and bonding for your peace of mind, you are on your way to great results. And if your qualified contractor does not offer financing, you still can get the financing you need with HFS Financial. It only takes 60 seconds to apply, and you should hear from a representative within 24 business hours. Our home improvement financing experts will make sure your project is 100% funded up front. At HFS Financial, “You Dream It, We Finance It!”