Essential Differences between Licensed and Unlicensed Contractors
When installing a home security system, you have the freedom to choose between a licensed and an unlicensed contractor. Many homeowners prefer unlicensed contractors because they are generally less expensive. They can also provide the best no-contract security systems — https://securinghome.com/best-no-contract-home-security-systems/. But, what many homeowners don’t know is that unlicensed contractors might not have adequate public liability or employers’ insurance.
What’s more, unlicensed contractors are not likely to invest in their installers’ training and procure high-quality equipment. And, they may not follow the stages followed by licensed contractors when installing security systems. So, when looking for a contractor to install a security system in your home, consider the essential differences between licensed and unlicensed professionals. This will enable you to make an informed hiring decision.
How to Define a Contractor
The first and most important thing to know is that a contractor is essentially a coordinator. This is a common misunderstanding. However, most individuals that utilize tools more professionally are not licensed as contractors. A licensed contractor’s main work is generally as a quarterback. That means a contractor orchestrates a tradespersons’ group that is hired to handle the actual work.
It’s this distinction that can be a crucial issue when selecting a contractor. That’s because being licensed or unlicensed can affect the personal liability of a homeowner. Therefore, homeowners should have this definition of a contractor in mind when choosing the person to install their home security system or handle a renovation project.
Protection against Liability
As hinted, an unlicensed contractor will most likely not have a workers’ compensation and liability insurance/ As such, a homeowner is financially responsible if damage occurs to a home while the contractor completes the work they are hired to do.
For instance, an unlicensed contractor won’t pay for new plumbing sprang if it starts to leak or if they damage part of a newly-finished kitchen even if they are responsible. What’s more, lacking workers’ compensation insurance can mean that an unlicensed contractor won’t be legally responsible for the injury of a worker or even their death as they complete your project.
If a licensed contractor was not present at the job site when the accident, injury, or death occurred, the courts would consider a homeowner as the official contractor. Thus, the homeowner is held fully responsible for financial and legal liability claims.
Filter Out the Riffraff
Contractor licensing reduces uncertainty and risk for a homeowner. A contractor’s license is not given to just anybody. What’s more, a person with a contractor’s license has paid fees and passed professional examinations to get it.
But, a licensed contractor can also do a shoddy job. As such, licensing doesn’t mean you skip due diligence while hiring a contractor. To hire the right contractor, consider other factors like track record in addition to licensing. But, licensing provides the advantage of filtering out the riffraff.
Licensing and Honesty
Honesty is a highly valuable quality of a contractor. That’s because a contractor can cheat you in a million ways, and you won’t know it. Licensing is not mandatory in every jurisdiction. However, the decision to operate without a license raises many questions about a contractor.
Such questions can include:
- Did the contractor sit and fail or pass a licensing exam?
- Could the contractor have committed a crime that hinders them from being licensed?
- If the contractor can’t structure their business properly by being licensed, does this say something about their technical judgment when handling your project?
By opting to acquire a license, a contractor sends a sign to the public that they are determined to do things correctly. It proves that they are professional and have received the necessary paperwork to prove their competency.
What Does Licensing Guarantees a Client?
When installing a security system in your property, you want to be sure that reliable professionals complete the work. You don’t want the same people that plan to break into your property to be the one installing your security system. You also don’t want information about your home or keys to some locks to be duplicated and end up in the wrong hands. As such, you should have properly vetted and licensed professionals to install your security system.
When you work with a licensed contractor, you’re assured that the persons you have undergone thorough checking of their criminal records. This is among the required licensing qualifications in most states. What’s more, licensing ensures that contractors adhere to other requirements. These include tax compliance and completing minimum training levels in their area for which they are licensed.
In most states, breaching the licensing regulations can lead to revoking of the issued license. Therefore, licensed contractors must act professionally and ethically when completing their projects. As such, clients are assured that their projects will be completed professionally and ethically when they hire licensed contractors.
Mostly, everybody plays a role in any industry where licensing is a requirement to operate. From the representative bodies to security companies and their technicians, the highest professional and ethical standards must be maintained to keep the license. Security companies must follow their licensing regulations. Companies and homeowners that procure their services must also ensure that these regulations are followed.
In some cases, companies can be prosecuted for sourcing the security services of unlicensed contractors. This happens if other people are affected by the decision of a company to engage the services of an unlicensed contractor.
The Bottom Line
Being a licensed contractor might not guarantee that a person or company will do an excellent job. However, it shows that a person has undergone training, paid some fees to get the license. It also shows that a person or company follows the provided licensing regulations. This provides peace of mind while assuring clients that the contractor will do a good job. Working with unlicensed contractors can mean that the job will be completed using poor-quality equipment, and the job might not be completed effectively. This can have massive repercussions, including the inability of a security system to protect a home from robbery or theft.