Everyone knows that cost is a major factor when making decisions regarding home improvements, it can be extremely tempting to choose the lowest bidder on any given project. Beware however, because that bid may not be coming from a licensed, professional contractor. There are many things that you, as a homeowner, should be aware of before deciding to go that route. The risks of safety, financial and legal issues far outweigh any benefits that a low bid may appear to offer.
Here on the Outer Banks, a NC General Contractors license is required to perform residential construction. There are fees involved, tests to take and insurance requirements. Without a contractors license, a company is not able to obtain building permits. Building permits are put in place to ensure decks and other structures are built safely and in conformance with the building codes. They are basically there to protect you, the homeowner. Decks built without permits can become real problems when it comes time to sell your house. If a home inspector lists any improvement performed on your home as “non-permitted”, the value of your home can be negatively affected.
Insurance is another important factor and is a requirement in most states for obtaining a license. The purpose of insurance isn’t to just protect the contractor, but it also protects you, the homeowner. Liability insurance covers any damage or accidents that are caused by the contractor as well as products and workmanship after the project is completed. If you choose a company that doesn’t have insurance, then you would be responsible for any damage. Workmen’s compensation insurance covers injuries to the workers on the jobsite. If you contract with a company or individual who doesn’t have workmans’s compensation coverage and an accident occurs, then you could likely to be responsible for any related costs.
Professional Outer Banks builders are experts in deck related construction and products. Outer Banks deck building requires particular skills and construction methods, as well as knowledge of the many different products available. Unlicensed contractors often do not specialize and don’t have this knowledge and expertise. The wrong combination of experience, code knowledge, and building products could cause your new deck to collapse! In addition to this, many deck products come with warranties that are void if the manufacturer’s installation instructions are not followed, or if the purchase receipts and required documentation are not kept by the contractor. Do you want to trust that an unlicensed contractor will hold onto this documentation and be able to retrieve it for you down the road? Or that you’ll be able to locate that unlicensed contractor in the first place if a future problem should arise?
Probably the most important question you may want to ask yourself is, “is it really worth it?” By choosing an unlicensed contractor you are exposing yourself to a great deal of possible risk.
Outer Banks Remodeling is a licensed general contractor that has been serving the Outer Banks for nearly two decades. When it comes to Outer Banks Decks, we are always up to date on the latest code requirements. You can rest assured knowing that you will have a solid deck that you can entertain guests on for years to come!