A couple things I’ve learned about remodeling here in the East Valley is that in the summer you start early, and un-licensed contractors are as thick as thieves around here. Jumping through all the flaming hoops and forking out all the cash to become legit is no picnic, and I now realize why many contractors avoid licensing like the plague. But why would a homeowner want to risk hiring an un-licensed contractor? Maybe they are not aware that it is against the Law in Arizona for anyone to perform work costing over $750 without a contractor’s license. The first violation is a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by a maximum $2,500 fine. Repeat offenders could be charged with a felony.
What Joe Homeowner also probably doesn’t realize is that by using an un-licensed contractor they are rolling the dice themselves in a number of ways. First, if the contractor is un-licensed, chances are he probably skipped that other little detail called insurance. This means that the homeowner is assuming all liability and all risk of work related injuries on their property. Workers comp rates are very high because work related injuries are very costly. The cost of one injury alone could easily exceed the Homeowner’s insurance policy. Think about that one for a minute.
Another purpose of licensing is to protect the Homeowner. If a dispute with a licensed contractor arises, the Registrar of Contractors will oversee the complaint, send out an inspector, and make a determination in an effort to resolve the dispute. The Registrar also administers a recovery fund that can pay up to $20,000 to any homeowner for damages caused by a licensed contractor.
The reason licensing exists in Arizona today is because so many folks were ripped off by shady contractors in the past. Contractor licensing was set up to protect you, the homeowner, so use it! Make sure your contactor is licensed!
Answered by: Patrick Benkowski, CR
President – Roadrunner Custom Remodeling Inc.