I am a general contractor in the state of Michigan. In other words I fix, build, or remodel anything pertaining to residential homes. The purpose of this article is to inform home owners about a growing problem in the construction/remodeling industry. That problem is the increasing numbers of unqualified individuals that are entering the field.
Due to the struggling economy and recent lay offs, many conversations around the kitchen table go something like this: “What are we going to do now Jane”? “Well John, you helped my brother roof his house that one time and you fixed the door on our shed and you like working around the house…why don’t you put an ad in the paper as a roofer or a carpenter”? “Hey Jane, that’s a great idea. I can get business by offering a really low price. Yea, that’s what I’ll do”!
Now I feel for a guy that is out of work. I really do. But when an unqualified individual decides “hey I’ll be a contractor”, all to often this results in nothing but trouble for the customer. What happens if John falls off the roof or drops his hammer on the hood of your brand new car? Is he insured?
What about warranties? If he says “I will guarantee this roof won’t leak for 5 years”, and then it does, will he still be in business? Statistics say no. As a matter of fact, most of the people entering into business today will not be in business 1 year from now, much less 5 years from now.
Of course there is the most important question: does he know what he’s doing? Does the fact that John helped his brother roof a house make him a qualified roofer?
There are insurance considerations as well. For example, lets say a home owner hires an individual that is not licensed to install a new furnace in his home. If the furnace starts a fire and burns the house down, some insurance companies will deny the claim. The reason is since there is no record of a permit(which there would not be as an unlicensed individual can not obtain a permit) they assume that the furnace could have been installed incorrectly. Now a home owner is left with a huge loss and all because they wanted to save a few bucks on the installation.
Do yourself a favor and stick with a pro. If you conduct a proper contractor interview, then you know that you are going to get a quality job by a licensed and insured individual who offers a warranty……..and honors it. If you are not sure how to conduct a proper contractor interview, you can find information on this and other subjects at my web site.