Take a good look at the person you just hired and are allowing into your home or business. Are they licensed by the state? Are they insured? Do they have a previous criminal background?
Home improvements and business remodeling projects can be needlessly expensive and frustrating if you pay for work that is not performed, work that does not meet the building codes in your town, or work that is of poor quality. For these reasons, it’s important to take extra care when you hire someone to work for you.
At VinTech, we are licensed and insured to make sure our clients are in good hands, for your safety and for the protection of your home or business. You wouldn’t want an unlicensed dentist performing a root canal in your mouth, so why is it worth the risk for your security?
There are many different types of contractors- electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and certainly security- but no matter who your contractor is, you must hire a licensed one and below are the reasons why.
Top 5 Dangers of Hiring Unlicensed Contractors:
1. Unlicensed contractors may not have the skills or ethics to repair damage properly. For example, we were visiting a friend’s home recently and noticed that the recessed lighting in her living room was dropping down. How could that happen?She said in order to save money, she had hired an unlicensed contractor to do the remodeling in their home, including the lighting. Now, she has sagging lighting, for what?
2. Unlicensed contractors have no professional or legal standard or regulations they must abide by. As a licensed alarm company, not only is every employee at VinTech required to have an FBI background check, but all employees are held to ethics upheld by the Electronic Security Association, or ESA. As proud member of ESA and the Illinois ESA, we strictly adhere to all rules and regulations set out by the ESA.
3. Unlicensed contractors are a danger to your financial affairs because they expose you to significant financial harm should an injury or property damage happen. Unlicensed contractors are under no duty to provide any of these consumer benefits, which exposes home and business owners to significant financial risks ranging from medical costs to repairs to rebuilding should something go wrong. Additionally, unlicensed contractors are often not insured. If that unlicensed contractor falls off your roof, you could be responsible for their injuries, and likely a hefty lawsuit. When in doubt get a current copy of the contractor’s insurances, including worker’s compensation, property damage and liability. If you use an uninsured contractor, it means the contractor has no way of repaying you for any property damage he or she causes. Also, if unlicensed contractor’s carelessness leads to injury or damage to your neighbors property, the problem is likely to become yours. You would have no protection!
4. Unlicensed contractors are subject to arrest and prosecution for working without a license. It is illegal to install alarms in someone’s home or business without a license in IL. Not only do these contractors run the risk of being arrested, but HAVE they been arrested previously? Do you really want a former criminal in YOUR home?
5. A homeowner’s policy will not cover unlicensed contractors. After an unlicensed contractor destroys your wall and then disappears with your money before the job is done, you can forget about filing a claim with your insurance company. An insurance company will NOT cover anything if you hire an unlicensed contractor. Many victims file complaints of shoddy work and abandoned projects by these unlicensed contractors.
We have our own experience to share about problems with hiring an unlicensed contractor. Last year, our office ceiling developed a huge leak. The upstairs neighbor above our office found an unlicensed plumber/inspector, who couldn’t fix the problem, causing even more damage. We finally found The Plumbing Doctor, a licensed, bonded and insured plumber who finally fixed our problem. However, our damage could have been less, and possibly avoided altogether, if they had hired a licensed contractor.
Additionally, we had an inspector do a home inspection for a new property, who is not only licensed and experienced, but who also gave us advice on what may need to be done/repaired in the few years. Finding a licensed, experienced, professional and quality contractor is so valuable! He actually has taught us so much that a new home buyer wouldn’t know, like tips with our roof and early signs of repairs we may need to make in the future on appliances.
We have a lot of clients come to us because installers didn’t do a good job, and we suspect they were not a licensed contractor. For example, connectors were exposed, screws were nailed in the middle of the coaxial cable, etc. To see examples of bad installations, check out our previous entry. Avoid shoddy work, unfinished projects and headaches by hiring a licensed professional.
For warning signs, please check with the IL Attorney General.
Any job is risky when hiring an unlicensed contractor. However, security is a matter of life safety, and YOUR security is serious to us. It can’t be joked around with unlicensed installers. Alarm systems and video surveillance have to be designed and installed by a licensed alarm company. Otherwise, it could be used for illegal activities, or the system will not function properly and won’t record when incidents happen.
Always do your research when hiring a licensed professional, and remember the value in hiring a licensed contractor. It may end up costing you more in the long run with an unlicensed contractor!