Licensed verse unlicensed contractors
INSPECTORCHEK TESTStarting questions for this argument include:
What does it mean to be licensed?
Why are some contractors licensed and others not?
Is the job the contractor performs required to be licensed?
And ultimately, does it matter?

You're not alone in your confusion. Contractors feel it, too. Licensing rules vary state to state. Most states require a license for at least a few home-improvement trades, some don't. Some cities and counties require additional licenses, some don't. Some states and municipalities strictly enforce their licensing laws, most don't.

Once contractors think they've got the rules figured out for where they work, another unhappy epiphany dawns: not everyone — homeowners or contractors — knows the rules. And not everyone plays by the rules. Contractors pay a tidy sum to play by the rules, which makes it hard for them to compete against those who don't. Homeowners can pay the price when they fail to distinguish between the two.

In many cases contractors are not licensed but do carry liability insurance and workman's compensation insurance. These can be just as important to check for. Also consider that being licensed does not always guarantee that a contractor is properly trained and experienced in that field. In some locations it is merely a way collect taxes from anyone who will fill out the form.

You should always check into contractors you plan to use, with word of mouth and recommendations being very important. It normally does not take a contractor more than one phone call to have a copy of the proof of liability or workman's comp faxed or emailed to you. If the contractor tells you his carrier, you can even call and easily request this yourself.

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