We’ve all been there: Hire the licensed contractor who will do the job right, or hire the handyman (essentially an unlicensed contractor) who is more affordable and a lot of times will cut corners to get the job done.
Is It Legal?
It is legal only if the work is under $500. An individual in California cannot hire an unlicensed contractor to develop or to complete a construction project.
A handyman or unlicensed contractor automatically becomes an employee of the homeowner. In the case of injury, liability falls on the homeowner. Compensation usually comes from the homeowner’s insurance or from potential lawsuits. Even if the contractor has insurance, being unlicensed means that the insurance will not cover accidents on the job site.
The price of quality materials are the same for everyone. If a handyman is offering to complete a job for an attractively low price, they are either using cheap materials or cutting corners to ensure that they make a decent profit.
Homeowners Insurance Policy
Your homeowners insurance has the right to drop your coverage due to risk. Unpermitted work (work done without obtaining the proper permits) is a risk. If you file a claim and the insurance company finds out that there is unpermitted work on your property, they have the right to drop you.
Value of Your Home
Any large-scale work will require a permit which a home inspector can look up easily. When selling your house, the law requires you to disclose any unpermitted work. If you find a buyer willing to overlook missing permits, you will likely have to discount the selling price. The buyer will assume all responsibility for the work. The discounted price along with the unpermitted work will reduce the value of your home. Even if the unpermitted work was done prior to you obtaining the house, you could face a lawsuit.
Peace of Mind
Saving a bit of money now may not be a benefit in the long run. From below average work to fire hazards, hiring a handyman or unlicensed contractor is a serious liability. 1-800-anytyme is fully licensed and insured and we only hire professional technicians. Please feel free to contact us via our contact form or call (760) 477-0072 to speak with a member of our team today.