Types of Contractor Licenses
The type of license
a contractor needs depends on their location. States differ on this issue, although most require licenses for at least some types of home repair. Other states don’t regulate any of these activities. In addition, municipalities and counties may require trade licenses.
In some places, the need for a license depends on the cost of the job. In New York City, only city-licensed professionals can perform jobs that cost more than $200. Before hiring any contractor, you need to ensure they have the proper experience and licenses for the work you need done.
When you hire a licensed
contractor, you are buying training and expertise. Most states require that contractors, including roofing contractors and general contractors, have a certain level of knowledge. While amateurs or unlicensed contractors can often handle simple jobs, they lack the level of training and experience that a licensed contractor must demonstrate. The license also shows that the contractor is able to handle jobs of various sizes, including large commercial jobs and those involving the latest in materials and technology.
Insurance is also a part of the being licensed. Some areas require contractors to have a current active worker’s compensation insurance policy before they can receive their license.
Being a bonded contractor is different than being licensed, although one often goes with the other. Bonded contractors offer their clients the highest level of protection because they purchase a surety bond.
For contractors, buying a surety bond
means that they agree to complete construction according to certain standards and stipulations. If they do not complete the work appropriately, the client is protected from financial loss. If a claim is made against the bond, the contractor is required to pay the bond company, or surety, for any payout they make to the homeowner or client.
Bonded contractors have several advantages. By being licensed and bonded, they are demonstrating that they have state and/or local stamps of approval. They have proven that they are professional and knowledgeable. These companies also have an advantage with discerning clients. Those people with home and commercial construction and repair needs are naturally attracted to companies with a history of successfully completed jobs. In addition, they want the financial security that a bonded company offers.
Before you call a roofing contractor, you need to verify that they are properly licensed and bonded. You have several options
for finding this information. The Better Business Bureau requires that all companies prove that they have the proper licensing and bonding for their state or municipality before the BBB
will list them,s so you should check their site. Many state licensing boards, such as Illinois
, also post this information on a government website.
Other sites like Angie’s List provides customer ratings for local businesses, including roofing services. They recommend that you ask for the contractor’s bond number and certificate of insurance before hiring them.
Personal recommendations from past customers are not enough. You need to know that your contractor has all the appropriate licenses, bonds and insurance. If they do not, you can end up with a defective roof or incomplete job and have no real recourse.
Roofing jobs require a high level of skill to complete correctly. Common roof issues
include faulty installation, incorrectly installed flashing, leakage, pooling water, overhanging trees and ventilation problems.
The variety of roofing materials also provide a challenge to roofers. You may choose from asphalt shingles, wood shakes, metal roofing, clay tiles, and solar tiles. A superior roofer must be able to handle all of these substances in order to give you an efficient and water-tight roof. A licensed and bonded roofer is more likely to have a knowledge level that will ensure you receive an excellent roof or roofing repair job.
Today’s construction and repair methods are complex and often require a significant financial investment. As a result, you need to hire only the most experienced and licensed contractors. For the best results with your roof, seek out bonded roofing contractors.
These roofers will have the proper licensing and insurance. In addition, they will have a surety bond that covers your losses if something goes wrong with the job. Bonded roofing services remove your financial risk while offering you the highest level of craftsmanship.