Liability in the Bargain? The Dangers of Hiring an Unlicensed Contractor Homeowners and homeowners' associations often face expenses to maintain or repair their property. It makes sense to look for the most affordable contractor available to do the work. Many times, through friends or relatives, a homeowner will come across an unlicensed contractor during their search for a person to do the work. The unlicensed contractor will provide a bid that is much lower than bids from licensed contractors and promises to do the same work. It sounds so appealing to save money but still get great workmanship that many people fall into the trap and hire the unlicensed contractor. However, the cheapest contractor available might be the one that will cost the most in the long run.
It is not surprising that an unlicensed contractor would be less expensive than a licensed contractor. Unlicensed contractors have advantages that enable them to provide the lowest prices. They do not have to pay licensing fees, they do not have to obtain a bond to protect their work, and more often than not they do not purchase liability or workers compensation insurance. Without these added expenses the unlicensed contractor can provide their services at a rate lower than the legitimately licensed professional.
It is true that having a contractor's license is not a guarantee that the work will be done well, or even properly. Since there is no guarantee that a licensed contractor will do a better job why should a homeowner or association care if the contractor has a license? The answer is simple--to protect the homeowner or association from a myriad of problems that could arise.
When is a License Required? The Contractors State License Board, a division of the California Department of Consumer Affairs, governs the issuance and supervision of contractors' licenses. The State License Board specifies a number of classifications for licensing and sets the standards necessary to receive the license. The contractor can only legally perform the work associated with the classification of the license they hold. A contractor must hold a valid contractors license for any work that will cost more than $500 in labor and material for any work that would fall into the classifications set by the License Board.
Basic Protection Many professions require a special license or admittance to an organization for that specific profession. Lawyers, doctors, teachers, and contractors are just a few of the professions that immediately come to mind. For those of us who have to obtain a license or join a trade association, it feels that the purpose of licensing may be to keep out competition from other states and to generate revenue for the state. But the truth is much simpler. Everyone wants at least a minimal level of certainty that their doctor is competent, or that their lawyer actually knows at least a little bit about the law. The general goal of professional licensing is to ensure that the person in the profession has a minimal level of competence in their field. Does this mean that a person with a license will be the absolute best at what they do? Of course not. It is a minimal assurance that the person working on your home has more experience than that gained by simply watching TLC and Discovery programs on home renovation and thinking that they can do that work.
Hiring a contractor that has a license also provides an avenue of grievance if a dispute arises. California Contractors State License Board requires mandatory arbitration for disputes1 under $12,500 (consequently the same amount that is required for the mandatory bond). A licensed contractor must participate in the mandatory arbitration in an attempt to resolve the dispute. With disputes between $12,500 and $50,000 the licensed contractor can opt for voluntary mediation to resolve the dispute. A voluntary dispute resolution process can be a much cheaper and less time consuming venture than litigation. If a dispute arises with an unlicensed contractor your only recourse would be to file a lawsuit. And if the unlicensed contractor is particularly shady, good luck finding them or collecting any award you might obtain.
The California Contractors State License Board keeps records and publishes any complaints against a contractor. This actually does a number of things. First, any prospective client can go to the Contractors State License Board's website and research a contractor. Filed complaints or sanctions imposed on a contractor will be listed for anyone to see. Secondly, if there are enough complaints the contractor can lose the license they worked hard and spent a lot of money to obtain. It is a powerful incentive to do a competent professional job if your future livelihood depends upon it.
Protecting Property Values Many building and renovation projects require city, county or state permits to complete the work. Unlicensed contractors rarely apply and obtain the proper permits required for the work that they will be doing. This could have serious consequences. When a home is sold certain facts must be disclosed to the buyers. In some cases, having work done without a permit or that is not to code might have to be disclosed to the buyer. This could have an impact on the value of the property. And failing to disclose certain important information could lead to liability of the seller.
Further, since unlicensed contractors rarely have liability insurance or a bond, there is nothing to guarantee that there will be money available to repair any defects in construction that are found after the contractor is paid and the construction completed. This would mean that the entire burden of fixing the mistake could fall on the homeowners.
Protection from Injury to Contractor or Workers A licensed contractor must have workers compensation insurance for its employees, or show the State Licensing Board that the contractor does not have any employees. Why is this important? In California under Insurance Code §2750.5 an unlicensed worker performing services for which a license is required is not an independent contractor. This means that when an unlicensed contractor is hired by a homeowner or homeowners' association that contractor, and potentially any employees of that contractor, is considered to be an “employee” of the homeowner or homeowners' association.
In Mendoza v. Brodeur2 a homeowner hired a neighbor to do a roofing project. That neighbor fell and was seriously injured. The neighbor sued the homeowner. The Court of Appeals affirmed that simply because the neighbor's status was not within the statutory definition of “employee” as set forth in Insurance Code §§3351 and 3352 he was nonetheless an employee of the homeowner and could sue the homeowner as his employer.
The implications of this are obviously critical. If a serious injury were to occur to an unlicensed contractor the person that hired the unlicensed contractor could potentially be liable for paying the workers compensation benefits. This could turn a simple $1,000 repair into a bill for tens of thousands more.
Protection from Damage to Third Parties The implications of using an unlicensed contractor go beyond the risks associated with the property worked on and injury to the workers. A homeowner or association that hires an unlicensed contractor can also be liable for the negligence of the contractor. A neighboring property, a passerby or other property that is negligently damaged by the contractor can lead to liability to the person that hired the contractor. As the contractor's employer the hiring party is responsible for the contractor's actions during the course of that employment.
Check a contractors references. Can they provide phone numbers or emails to previous clients? Do they have pictures of CURRENT work? Check Yelp to see honest reviews.
The bottom line for a homeowner or homeowners' association is to protect yourself and your assets. When you hire anyone to work on your property make sure that they are a licensed professional. You can check the status of a contractor's license in California by visiting the Contractors State License Board on the web at: https://www2.cslb.ca.gov/OnlineServices/CheckLicenseII/CheckLicense.aspx.
Always get references and multiple bids on the work. And if something is too good to be true, it probably is.
Timothy Smith, Esq.
When it is seen on television, San Diego house painting
appears deceptively simple, especially in home makeover shows. But in reality, it is a complex job that involves patience, creativity, proper techniques and lots of practice to perfect the craft. Not everyone can just pick up a brush and paint their houses. The results would probably be disastrous. That is why professional painters must be hired for painting jobs in and around the house. San Diego House Painting Even if the actual painting will be left in the hands of experts, the colors to be used for the house will be dependent on the owner’s choice. Paint companies offer paint chip samples so that customers can choose from their wide variety of colors. They can also opt to hire design consultants to help them in choosing the perfect color combinations. Bear in mind though, that paint chips are just representations and the actual shades of the paint colors can still vary depending on the paints’ finish, the owner’s walls and the type of light that will be used near the painted wall.
To ensure that the chosen color is the one envisioned by the owner, it is best to get a small can of the shade and then apply it on a section of the wall to be painted. If it is the perfect shade, then a larger size can be purchased next time. If not, then at least, there is only a minimal waste of product.
Knowing Your San Diego Painting Needs Manufacturers of paints also offer paint mixing services to mix customized colors for unique shades. Or, if the painter is exceptionally skilled, then the colors can be mixed by hand to obtain distinctive hues. After a decision is made regarding shade selection and color palettes, then the painters can now proceed to house painting.
But, before any painting can ensue, the areas to be painted should be prepped properly. This means that walls should be scrubbed clean of their dirt, dust, grease and grime. Door knobs should be covered in plastic sheeting. Heavy canvas drop cloths must be used over floors and painter’s tape must be applied over baseboards and other surfaces to protect it from unwanted paint.
Going Pro With Your San Diego And then, the paintbrushes and paints can finally come out because it is painting time! Painters usually go over the sections of the walls with one coat of paint. After leaving it to dry, they will come back and apply a second or third coat of paint to fully cover the areas with the desired colors. San Diego House painting
is a project that must not be taken lightly. It entails time, money and utmost commitment. It must be planned properly so that it can be executed well. Luckily, there are a lot of options available for those who want to improve their homes through color.
Bob Vila of This Old House fame tells people to "be kind to their neighbors when picking a color scheme." His house painting advice is echoed by realtors and builders across the country. The color that you paint your house, they say, can affect the value of all the other houses in your neighborhood. That's one of the reasons that many homeowner associations limit house painting color choices for homes in their communities.
While you might feel that house painting
is a personal choice, there's a good deal of sense to the painting restrictions that some homeowners face. A garish purple house with Halloween orange shutters on the block can effectively make it almost impossible for anyone else in the neighborhood to get full value for their home if they choose to sell. A cohesive house painting color scheme that's carried on from property to property adds enormously to the appeal of a neighborhood.
So what colors are good choices for exterior house painting? According to Realty Time magazine, the choices are, in order, white, gray, blue, tan or brown, cream, beige, green, yellow and red. Of those, the overwhelmingly most popular house painting color is white, with over 37 percent of all homeowners stating that if they were repainting a house, they would choose white. While gray is the second most popular color, most realtors would recommend painting your house a pale shade if that's your choice. The reason? Lighter colors brighten a house and make it seem more spacious.
Among the other colors, the favored shades tend to be muted tones, often in "historical" themes. House paint manufacturers like Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams often name their paint colors to cater to that trend. Thousands of houses across the country are painted Williamsburg blue or Colonial green.
If you do want brighter accents in your exterior house painting scheme, advise Realtors, confine yourself to the front door and shutters. A front door that's painted a friendly blue or warm red, they say, puts buyers in a good mood as they enter your house. And who'd know better than the guys that sell houses?
Need a painting idea for your San Diego home? Whether you are looking to freshen up a room or trying to increase your home’s resale value, a fresh coat of paint can work wonders. Once you have an idea of what you are looking for in a new
look, talk to your San Diego painting contractor
to work out the details to put you on your way to a dream room.
Here are four simple ideas to get you started:
1. Take it to the beach– A great design for bathrooms, kid’s rooms or really any room is to get beachy with it. From soothing cool tones to warm tropical colors, the possibilities are endless with any seashore theme. Using this theme, you can turn a boring bathroom into a spa-like atmosphere or use colors like navy and light blue to turn a boy’s bedroom into a nautical haven.
2. Getting your stripes– A roll of good painter’s tape (one that won’t bleed paint out of the sides) will let you do all sorts of fun geometric designs with paint. From zig-zags, to chevrons, to simple hortizontal and vertical stripes, painter’s tape is really only limited by your imagination. It will leave sharp lines that look professional, even if you do it yourself.
3. Look up– Here’s a unique idea in interior painting: don’t forget about the ceiling. By keeping the walls simple and getting creative with the ceiling (think night skies, stars and space), you can give a fun atmosphere to any bedroom or game room. How lovely would it be to sleep under the stars every night, regardless of weather?
4. Faux, yes you did– Another low cost, easy fix for your rooms is faux painting. You can use a light glaze to color wash, rag-rolling to create unique texture, sponging and many more faux painting designs for a special look. You
can find tutorials for basic faux designs online or in local San Diego paint stores that are really simple to master. For anything more complicated, however, you might find it easier just to call a San Diego painting contractor
for more advice or to book them to do a professional job.
Nowadays, painting is very important to every property because they would increase the value of the house. At the same time, the property would to look more beautiful. Just imagine a majestic place without any paint. Doesn’t it look very dull? This is the reason why paints are used for properties. And for people who would need painting services, it is better if they would hire a painting contractor to paint their properties. The reason for this is that they are experts when it in painting these properties so they can do the job properly and at the fastest time possible.
In the world of painting, you will find two kinds of San Diego painting contractors
. The first is for the residential while the other is for the commercial establishments.House Painters
These are the San Diego painting contractors
that would paint residential areas. In this way, the house will look its best because of the how it was painted by the house painters. They can do house painting not only for the interior part of the house but of course on its exterior.Commercial Painting Contractor
These are the San Diego painting contractors
that can paint big establishments. May these be offices or malls, they can do perfect interior painting inside the establishment. Of course, they also have the needed contraption in order to pain the outdoor part of the establishments.
The good thing about the contractors is that they can paint a property at a speedy manner because of the fact that they know the right way of preparing the property for painting. At the same time, they can paint with less or no mistakes at all. This means that they will finish the painting in no time as they do not experience any problems during the tasks.
If you are looking for the perfect San Diego painting contractor
for your home, you can just start looking online and you will see all the contractors available within your area. With all the companies to choose from, you have the chance to compare their prices in order to get the cheapest one possible for your budget and the service that you need.
Painting is very important to properties in order to make the look very beautiful. And if you will need their services for your house, you will find a lot of companies that are willing to extend their services to you and can even help you in choosing the color that you may want for your home.
deciding on San Diego paint color
and decor for your teen’s bedroom, there is no need to follow the same guidelines as for the master bedroom. Although you might enjoy calm and soothing colors inside your bedroom, a teenager is hardly likely to prefer muted tones in his/her bedroom. It doesn’t mean that you have to choose fluorescent and psychedelic colors for the teenager’s bedroom. You should ask what colors they’d prefer in their bedroom, since teens are often highly opinionated about things pertaining to them, like their bedroom. If you are lucky enough to have an easy-going kid who leaves the decision up to you, then you need to make certain that you choose the right paint colors. When the painting job is done, you don’t want to hear any complaints. So use these tips and ideas to keep the eye rolling and complaining from your San Diego teen to a minimum.Teenager Bedroom Paint Color Ideas:
Unlike an adult’s bedroom that’s usually painted in calming paint colors, teenagers usually would rather brighter hues. Primary colors could be safely used in a teenager’s bedroom. The one thing to remember is that you have to choose the perfect shade of these colors but pair them well with neutral colors. The brightness of the electric blue or vivid green within the walls of the bedroom could be subdued by choosing tan, pale yellow or a slate gray. A softer, bright yellow is a superb paint color choice for any teenager’s bedroom. It is a warm hue that is fresh and vibrant. Some paint colors that actually work well with yellow are marine blue, white, forest green, dark chocolate and mahogany.
Muted pastels are also good and popular bedroom paint palettes. It gives any San Diego bedroom a spa like tranquility and it is a great paint color choice for small bedrooms. Since the color palette is so understated, you could inject color in the bedroom with bright draperies and bed linens which are easily changed as your teen grows up. Pink with gray, yellow with brown and chocolate and coral with sage green would look beautiful and unique for years.
Choosing the perfect color comes down to bedroom color palettes. Choosing the right bedroom colors is among the most important component in home decoration. Select popular San Diego bedroom paint colors
and bedroom palettes, but make sure that they match your San Diego teen’s personality and design sensibilities.
Working with glitter wall paint with interior design applications has become popular today as the glitter paint has gotten better through new technologies. Besides being used as a novelty in a dorm room, or in a child’s playroom, there are plenty of different opportunities to design great looking living spaces with the use of glitter wall paint. If you are currently stuck as to ideas that you can use to revitalize your own home, here are some design tips for using glitter wall paint.
Glitter wall paint can definitely spice up a room
and turn it into something special. Glitter wall paint is available in a range of different colors and shades. You can find wall paint with glitter, decorative glitter wall paint, as well as creative glitter wall paint among other products. A good wall paint needs to be appropriate for your surface as well as your style.
Glitter paint is something which you probably wouldn’t go ahead and paint your entire house in. Instead, this type of paint is ideal if you want to paint stencils on the wall and add a little flair, or at the most paint one small wall in, or perhaps a ceiling. But really, glitter paint is best suited to be part of motives and pictures which you wish to put up on your wall, not drench your all the walls in. If you do it carefully, then glitter paint can be so much fun. If you want to set up a young girl’s room or if you just want a different experience, then glitter wall paint can certainly be the way to go.
These simple, design ideas can be completed quickly. Maverick Painting offers One Day Painting services
. For a flat fee, Maverick Painting’s craftsman can transform a dull space into a unique focal point.Use as Border
If you think that the glitter wall paint may be too much for your room, you can make up for this by using the paint as a border. Instead of trying to paste a wallpaper border on your wall, you can paint some glitter paint in its place. Use some painter’s
tape for the outline of your border and paint away.Use to Highlight Nooks
There are plenty of areas in your home where glitter wall paint will look good as an accent. One of these places is around the borders of nooks within your home. These little built in areas that house art, books, mirrors or other decorative elements can have a little more decorative touch when there is glitter paint applied to it. You can use the paint as an accent border, or as a backdrop to the pieces you have in the nook.Add Luxury to Formal
One of the more elegant uses of glitter wall paint is in to bring some luxury to a formal setting. This is usually found in a formal dining area that is set off from the regular living space. A medium color that is infused with glitter will look great alongside some elegant furniture, flooring and lighting elements. You can do the entire room with the glitter wall paint or just one wall where the light will play off the glitter.
Jamie Waller, Owner of Maverick Painting
says, “A clear faux finishing glaze is actually a great option for this technique. Sometimes glitter added to the base color doesn’t show up very well. The glaze will give a translucent medium for the glitter to sit in and allow it to be the first layer that the eye picks up. Little girls grow up and out of glitter and eventually this technique will need to be removed or painted over. If the glitter is just applied with glaze, it is more easily sanded, primed and then painted over.”
For more design tips and ideas, visit Maverick Painting San Diego’s website at www.maverickpaintingsandiego.com