OSWALDO ORTIZ IS LOCATED AT 11451 NW 82ND TER, MIAMI FL 33178 AND IS A LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALES ASSOCIATE. OSWALDO ORTIZ HAS BEEN LICENSED SINCE 06/02/2015.
Before you take the bait of a lowball price for a home remodeling project, make sure that you are working with a state licensed contractor, or that low price could turn into a financial nightmare.
Besides the potential of ending up with shoddy workmanship, painfully long projects, increased costs from the original quote, and inferior materials, homeowners hiring unlicensed contractors open themselves up to incredible risk, liability and financial headaches, including the following:
SCENARIO: Your contractor sends a guy to hang your siding who proceeds to strike a nail through your water pipe. Instant flooding. The sheetrock, insulation, carpet and hardwood floors now need to be replaced. You can scream all you want for the contractor to pay to replace the damaged areas, but if he does not have liability insurance, then he has no way to cover the loss. And without a state contractor’s license, it will be hard to sue him in a court of law.
SCENARIO: The contractor sends an employee to work at your home who then falls off a ladder and breaks several bones. The contractor didn’t carry workers compensation insurance. An ambulance trip, emergency room visit, surgery bills, and doctor fees all become part of your remodeling project price because you are legally liable for the injured party. Angie's List reminds us that "homeowner’s insurance might help cover some of the cost to pay that worker’s claim, after you meet your deductible, but that claim could result in an increase in your rates and make it more difficult for you to get insured in the future." And once again, you cannot seek retribution in court, as your contract may not be legally enforceable.
If the work does not meet local building codes, or the contractor doesn’t pull the necessary permits (which an unlicensed contractor cannot do), you will be responsible for making the repairs to meet code at an additional cost to you.
Allowing work to be performed by an unlicensed contractor could also void your homeowner’s insurance policy, should a claim arise as a result of that work.
SCENARIO: You planned the project of your dreams at a price that was much lower than the other two bids you received. You gladly pay the contractor his requested cash up front for the reduced cost. Sub-contractors begin working on your project and about half way through they begin asking you for payment. You are confused because you already paid your contractor. He has not paid his subs. The subs stop coming. The project is unfinished, yet paid for in full and the sub-contractors keep demanding payment from you and threaten to place a lien on your home. Once again, you may not have legal recourse because you are working with an unlicensed contractor.