|Why Is a License Important?
All states require some form of licensing with regard to
building contractors. These laws have been passed to protect
property owners from incompetent or dishonest contractors.
The licensing process tests for basic competency and most
licensing programs have some way of screening out dishonest
contractors. A valid license is the first indication that
your contractor might be qualified to do the job.
reason to use a licensed contractor is that some states have
dispute resolution programs, and sometimes even funds, to
help resolve disputes and compensate property owners. You
will want to take full advantage of such a program by making
sure your contractor has a current license for all the work
he or she proposes to do.
|State Requirements for Licensing
States license contractors and each state has its own
licensing board with its own requirements. to find out
about your state's program. State laws differ on both the
requirements for getting a license and the type of license
that is needed for a particular job, so make sure you know
your state's requirements.
| Licenses for General Contractors
There are several kinds of licenses required for different
aspects of construction projects. The person who deals
directly with you as the property owner is the general
contractor. This person works with you, oversees the
project, purchases many of the materials needed, and hires
subcontractors (contractors who work for the general
contractor and not directly for you). There are licenses for
general contractors, but that license doesn't authorize the
general contractor to do all the jobs in the construction
project. Make sure you know what a general contractor's
license covers in your state.
offer a variety of special contractor licenses to cover
specific jobs. To obtain a special license a contractor will
have to show competency in a specific area, like electrical
work, roofing, plumbing, and so on. If a general contractor
doesn't have the necessary special license to do part of a
project, he or she has to hire a subcontractor who does have
the special license to perform the work.
You should stay as
informed as possible about all aspects of your construction
project and keep on eye on the project without getting in
the way. Mistakes that are caught early are much less
expensive to fix. It will be worthwhile to keep an eye on
licensing too. You can easily check to make sure that all
the contractors working on your project have the licenses
your state requires.
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