As a homeowner, you may have been approached by “Chuck in his truck” who “remodels homes”. His services may appeal to you because he quotes such a low price. In fact, Chuck’s price is lower than the one you would receive from other remodelers who are advertising online, in printed publications or the phone book. However, Chuck is only saying that he is a remodeler this week. Last week, he repaired roofs, and the week before that he claimed to do dry wall or be a custom deck builder.
What you need to know is that there is a huge difference between Chuck and the professional remodeler. The professional is conducting a business and has obtained the necessary items that cause the business to run successfully, such as a license. Chuck doesn’t have this. When a professional remodeler seeks to obtain their license, they must pass tests, pay fees and purchase the necessary insurance coverage, and Chuck doesn’t do any of this.
Another thing that Chuck doesn’t have is general liability insurance. If Chuck were to enter your home and damage your property, he wouldn’t have an insurance policy that would pay to repair or replace what was destroyed. Because a professional contractor is required to have this insurance, the repairs would be covered. Furthermore, if there is any damage to a neighbor’s property, it would be covered by the contractor’s general liability insurance as well.
The professional remodeler has workers compensation in the event that the workers are injured while performing their duties. Because Chuck didn’t purchase this coverage, you would be responsible for paying the medical bills for “Chuck” or his injured workers because the injuries occurred on your property.
No Permit? This Could Lower Your Home’s Value
Chuck will inform you that he doesn’t need a permit to do work for you or have you as the homeowner get a homeowners permit, but if you plan on selling your house in the future, the fact that you have a remodel that was constructed without a permit may lower the value of your home. Worse, if you get a homeowners permit and Chuck does follow local building code you have to pay for someone to do the work a second time the right way. Professional remodelers have permits that obligate them to conform to local building code and allows inspectors to come in to make sure that the remodel does, in fact, conform to the code. This ensures that the work you are purchasing is not substandard.
Chuck may very well be a good craftsman, and thus would make a great carpenter for someone. However, what he fails to realize is one false step and the relationship that appeared to save the homeowner a few dollars and keep him working for a few more hours can backfire and feel more like an episode of “remodels gone bad”. Think carefully about how you invest your money and who you allow into your home.
Bakker Construction is a California Licensed Contractor. Put your mind at ease, give us a call for your next project.