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Why Do You Need to Hire a Licensed Contractor?

Why it is Vital to Hire a Licensed Contractor

When you need to hire a contractor to perform any sort of construction job, naturally you want to get the best deal possible. There are very important things to keep in mind, however, when shopping for the best company for the job. The single most vital of these is to be certain your contractor is licensed, bonded and certified. Unlicensed contractors are going to vie for your business by quoting you far lower prices than licensed ones, but you’ll pay the price in quality of work and risk. Here’s a look at why you want to hire a licensed contractor over an unlicensed contractor. Read more

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Paving the Road to Becoming a Licensed Contractor

Becoming a contractor may sound like a great way to earn a living until you reach retirement age (and it is) but, just like any other profession, there is a right way to do things (and a wrong way to do things). So, before you set out there are a few things you will want to get squared away. High school, training and apprenticeships will all get you ready for your future occupation but proper training is just half the battle. To complete your quest, you will need to get licensed in your state to ensure that you are qualified to work as a contractor. You will also need to get insured. Here is what you need to do if you are interested in becoming a licensed contractor.

Becoming a Licensed Contractor – Your Road to a License

It can be a long road but we assure you that it will be worth it in the end. In order to get your license you will have to undergo a series of tests, evaluations and screenings by representatives from your state. Listed below are the steps you will need to take.

Step 1 – Fill out an Application

You had to apply for a driver’s license when you turned 16 and you will have to apply for your contractor’s license when you feel the time is right. Once the state approves that application you will be sent a notice telling you that you have been approved. Now, you just need to set up an appointment to take the state assessment. You are just two steps away from becoming a licensed contractor (so close).

Step 2 – Take the State Assessment

The exact details of that assessment will depend on which state you are in (and when you are taking it). But, most assessments will cover everything from law and business to state construction codes. Be sure to study up as you will not want to pay the fee to take the test multiple times (you will want to save that for the fees you will pay later on).

Step 3 – Pay License Fees and Acquire Insurance

Congratulations on passing the test! You have almost accomplished your dream of becoming a licensed contractor (a dream that is just a few fee payments and insurance policies away). After you pass the test you will have to pay license fees and acquire both workers compensation insurance and general liability insurance before you can legally work in the state.

And that’s it! Congratulations on your new license! They typically last two to four years so enjoy your test-free years while you can. If you have any further questions about becoming a licensed contractor please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-649-9094. We look forward to hearing from you!

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The Different Types of General Contractor Licenses

Licensing for General Contractors can vary by state and tier.  There are different types of classes for general contractor licenses which depend on the type of construction work or contract value.  Each state has its own requirements, sometimes for the number of years a contractor has been in the field, or whether or not you work with hazardous materials.

Becoming a Licensed Contractor

Tests for General contractors happen on a quarterly basis, with most of the material for exam and test preparation being available both online, and at your local library.  Information for the test differs among all the different states and testing fees range from around $100 to $300 for the first test, as well as fingerprinting and document fees.  Annual renewal fees range from $30 to $300 dollars.  On top of all of this, Workers compensation insurance is also required before the final licensing.

General Building Contractor

A general Building contractor does a little bit of everything.  Demolition, construction, and repair are all areas of his focus.  People who supply materials are not able to apply for this license but Framers and Carpenters can.  General contractors have the ability to subcontract any work as needed.

General Engineering Contractor

Any type of work that requires special engineering knowledge must have an engineering contractor license.  The type of license covers work in the area of water piping, chemical, or utilities.  It is also required of work done near schools, chemical plants, and sewage pipelines.  Proper knowledge of concrete work, rough and finish carpentry, masonry, electrical and heating, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, or HVAC is necessary to obtain this license.

Specialty Contractor

Most states categorize contractors into one of sixteen specialties.  Dangerous construction, like high-rise glazing, elevator or hazardous substance removal also have classifications.  States with a high volume of contractors provide a separation of residential home improvements.  These contractors focus on small residential jobs.

Contractors insurance is something very specific and involved.  There are many different types of contracting licenses available.  That is why the projects needs must be assessed before figuring out which type of licensing is required.

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