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The One Question You Need to Ask Your Spring Contractor

Spring is upon us! We’ve traded our winter gear for gardening tools and dusted off the balls and bicycles. And chances are, we have a to-do list filled with cleaning and maintenance projects.
As you search for the perfect contractor, you want to keep in mind one detail that many tend to overlook. Aside from asking about cost estimates and time-frames, remember to ask this question:
“Are you licensed and insured?”
 

Why hire a licensed contractor?

Insured is a given (though we might be biased). But why does your contractor need to be licensed?
A licensed contractor has passed exams and met criteria that prove competence in their trade. In other words, you can rest assured that licensed contractors know what they’re doing. But more than that, you can hold them accountable even after they complete the job. (This is not true for those who are only insured.)
Say your contractor’s name is John. If problems or damage occur after John has finished the job, John knows that you can file a complaint with the local district licensor and your comments will go on record. John wants to keep his record clean, so it's in his best interest to keep you happy by compensating you.
 
 

A Cautionary Tale

A friend of ours had his home built by a licensed general contractor. Shortly after moving into their new home, the sprinkler failed and flooded their basement. This led to a huge mess and headache for this homeowner.
When the builder reached out to the landscapers who had installed the sprinkler system, the company denied any wrongdoing. But since the builder had hired only licensed contractors, he persisted. In the end, the landscaping company, interested in protecting its license, compensated the owner for the sprinkler repair and the damage.
So this season, let your home maintenance fever take its course. Just do yourselves a favor and consider hiring only insured and licensed contractors.