Washington State requires businesses in the construction trades to be registered as contractors, which includes being bonded and insured. These requirements help inform and protect consumers from fraud, damages, and liability. Simply put, hiring a contractor who does not meet this criteria puts consumers at significant risk. Skimping on credentials to get a job done cheaply or not verifying a contractor’s legitimacy is risky business, often costing consumers thousands of dollars.
Hiring a contractor who is not licensed or insured is definitely not a good way to cut costs on your next home improvement project. The recent article Are Your Pros Insured, by This Old House brings up some very good points, including examining your own homeowner’s insurance policy. For more information on WA State contractor’s license, bond, and insurance requirements please refer to Contractor Hotline’s archived e-newsletter – Licensed, Bonded & Insured – What Does That Really Mean?
The first step to hiring a home improvement professional is coming up with a list of potentially suitable contractors to consider for your project. You or someone you know may work in a related industry, such as an appraiser, inspector, or Realtor. They often have a list of reputable home improvement professionals they have come to know and trust. You may have a neighbor, friend, or relative who had good luck with a particular contractor for their own projects. You can also rely on Contractor Hotline to connect you with contractors who meet the requirements for your type of project. This approach moves you through the process more quickly than starting from scratch. Whatever method you use, there remains much to consider when narrowing down your choices and making a final decision.