The Importance of Working with a Licensed Contractor in Your Sanibel Home

There are still many properties on the islands that could use some care and attention to get them back in amazing shape. If you are considering buying a fixer-upper home or already own a home and want to make some improvements you may consider hiring professional help (a smart move unless you are a construction pro on some level). When you hire someone to work on your home you want to make sure they are licensed, bonded, and insured. It can be tempting to hire a family friend or someone who knows someone, but you want to make sure they have these incredibly important credentials before they do any work. Here's why: 

Experience

Experienced reputable professional contractors do not perform work on other people's homes without these certifications. Not only does it communicate they are trustworthy, but it can help to protect them and you if any issues pop up. Here is what each certification means:The  Importance of Working with a Licensed Contractor in Your Sanibel Home

  • Licensed: Each state has its own licensing requirements and standards, but a licensed contractor is expected to prove that they uphold these standards before they are given a contractor's license. There is a database where consumers can look up if a license is valid and legitimate. You want to ensure that the license is valid and is an actual contractor's license, not a standard business license. Having a license and the right type shows a contractor has gone through the legal requirements to provide contracting services. 
  • Insured: Insurance protects a contractor when/if a mishap occurs. They will have coverage for themselves and for any of their employees. A contractor will not be able to obtain insurance unless they have undergone the parameters for obtaining a license through the state in which they work or base their business. 
  • Bonded: This is the lesser known of the three by most people. Being bonded means that contracted work will be finished even if another contractor has to come in and finish the job. It is a form of insurance that ensures job completion. It works through a third-party corporate surety that pays for another contractor to finish the job and then the original contractor is responsible for paying back the corporate surety. 

Your Insurance

 Should something happen while your home is being worked on like a pipe bursting in the kitchen and flooding your entire great room area, your insurance will not help cover the costs of repairs to the floor if the work is not being performed by a reputable contractor. Also, a contractor that is not licensed does not carry their own insurance to help cover the costs of mistakes directly related to their work. Or if down the line an issue is spotted because of renovations you had performed let's say a few years ago, you may not get any help and end up paying for all of the expenses to fix something on your own. 

Accountability

A license proves that a contractor has the knowledge to complete work properly but it is no fail-safe guarantee that the contractor will have integrity and do the work they promise. If a contractor does a poor job, does something wrong and doesn't fix it, or leaves the job without the work being completed, you can turn them in to the licensing board that holds their contractor's license. 

Hiring a contractor without a license who does some great work on the side or has done some DIY projects in their own home, may be tempting to save some money, but it is never a great option if something goes wrong. Your options to remedy the issue in your home are limited and sometimes only to lose the money you paid out and hire a brand new trustworthy contractor on your own dime to fix everything that went wrong.

If you are looking for a home on Sanibel or Captiva Island, contact me. I am here to help you find the Sanibel home that meets your wants and needs at an affordable budget for you, whether you are looking for a home that is your dream full-time property or that ideal coy home away from home. Contact me with any Sanibel real estate needs. 

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