Over our years in the Portland, Oregon chimney business, American Chimney & Masonry has heard plenty of horror stories about homeowners losing money to unlicensed and uninsured contractors. Home improvements can be expensive, and frequently, people will look to hire the least expensive contractor they can find as a way to save money. Unfortunately, hiring the cheapest contractor available might end up costing you more money than you had planned, especially if this contractor has no license or insurance. Unlicensed contractors can charge less money because they have no licensing fees and no bond obligations, however; homeowners take on a huge risk when they hire someone with no credentials to do construction work in their homes. We would like to share with you some information from Angie’s List about the dangers of hiring an unlicensed and/or uninsured contractor and why you should always check your contractor’s credentials.
What sort of insurance policies should a contractor have?
To fully protect yourself as a homeowner, you should always hire a contractor who carries both liability insurance and worker’s compensation. Liability insurance is needed to protect you in case your home is damaged by the contractor and his crew. Many homeowners mistakenly believe their home insurance policies cover any damage that could be caused by workers. However, unless you have purchased additional coverage for in-home employees, your homeowner’s insurance will not be able to help you in this situation. Worker’s compensation is crucial in the event an employee is injured on the job on your property to fully cover the costs of any medical bills.
What exactly is bonding?
In order to guarantee completion of the promised work, the contractor takes out a bond that is secured money that would be given to the homeowner in the event that the work is not completed. American Chimney & Masonry strongly recommends that you ask the contractor for proof of the bond. You should also be sure that you understand exactly what the bonded amount covers.
How can I be sure the contractor is fully licensed?
To be sure your contractor is licensed, check with your local licensing authority and ask for a copy of the license. This serves as proof that your contractor has met specific industry standards and is legally allowed to do business in your area. A contractor with no license can be quite costly. If the work is not up to local building codes, you are financially responsible for bringing the work into accordance with the codes. Additionally, if you allow an unlicensed contractor to perform work on your home, you could lose your homeowner’s insurance policy if a claim were to arise due to that work.
American Chimney & Masonry knows the importance of following the rules when it comes to working in our customers’ homes so we are licensed, bonded and insured ourselves. Reach out to us if you need help finding a licensed and insured contractor.
Our Portland Service Area
Located right here in Portland, Oregon, our chimney sweep technicians provide the best in chimney cleaning, fireplace installation and dryer vent care in the Greater Portland-Metro area. From North Portland down to Tualatin and Oregon City in the south, from Pleasant Valley in the east to Beaverton and Sherwood in the west – when it comes to your chimney, fireplace and vents, we hope you’ll call American Chimney & Masonry!
Ready To Make An Appointment?
To schedule an appointment with one of our expert technicians, please call 503-644-0393 or fill out our online scheduling form. With over 19,000 satisfied customers since 1989, we are ready for more! We look forward to visiting with you soon about your fireplace and chimney sweep needs.