If you’re looking to save money and are handy around the house, you may think that you can perform any home renovations yourself. After all, any information you could possibly need is on Google, right?
Before starting his own construction company, Alberto Mordoki of Fullerton, California, managed a host of contracting projects, including home renovations. In many cases, Alberto took over a project that had been done poorly by an unlicensed contractor or homeowner. He explains just how critical it is to work with trained, certified contractors for any and all home renovation projects.
What Does It Mean To Be A Licensed And Certified Contractor?
In most states, contractors must pass an exam demonstrating their credentials and skills. Passing these exams awards that contractor a license and at that point, they are certified.
Contractors carry required liability insurance that covers potential accidents and home damage that could result during renovations. Most states require this protection of licensed or certified contractors.
That said, some specialties, such as electrical and plumbing, have additional competency exams that state, regional, or national trades boards require in order for practitioners to advertise themselves as “certified.” Another term for this version of certification is called registration (i.e., a registered electrician).
Why Is It Risky To DIY Home Renovations?
Homeowners often miss important local ordinances and safety regulations that could result in increased time or expense from do-overs upon inspection, says Alberto Mordoki. In some cases, homeowners complete their own renovations without obtaining any inspections at all. Either way, those homeowners risk fines or property closures if they don’t rectify code violations immediately.
Should accidents resulting in physical or property damage occur during the renovation, homeowners bear full liability. Even during minor DIY renovations, homeowners risk a personal injury lawsuit if visitors venture onto the wrong part of the property or building.
4 Benefits Of Hiring A Licensed/Certified Contractor
In addition to the risks associated with tackling one’s own renovation projects, there are a number of benefits to working with licensed contractors. Here are Alberto Mordoki’s top four.
1. You Get Better Financing Options
Most home renovations are pricey, especially if you want them done well. It’s common to finance these projects and lenders are more inclined to make you a better offer if you present a licensed contractor that will be taking the lead on your renovation.
2. You’re Guaranteed Someone Experienced With Permits, Inspections, And General Code Requirements
Depending on where you live, zoning laws, building codes, permits, inspections, and more can be too overwhelming for the DIY hobbyist. In contrast, these details are exactly what licensed contractors understand, says Alberto Mordoki. Working with certified contractors is the surest way to keep your renovation compliant and safe.
3. You Get Someone With Relationships With Other Reliable Contractors
Licensed contractors only work with other licensed, quality contractors. If your renovation will include a few different construction experts, a certified contractor will ensure that you are working with quality industry peers.
4. You Have Built-In Liability
Licensed and bonded contractors assume the risk of accident or injury. As noted previously, carrying a minimum amount of liability insurance is required before one can become certified.
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