Building Safety Month 2024 - Hiring Licensed Contractors

2024 Building Safety Month

Welcome to week four of Building Safety Month! Over the past three weeks, we’ve introduced you to our Building and Community Development departments, shared valuable information about the Town of West Point’s permitting process, resources, and FAQs, and discussed pool safety and outdoor structures. This week, we’re focusing on the importance of hiring licensed contractors.

There are many things to consider when deciding who to hire for your project—expertise, reputation, budget, time to completion, and more. The details involved when choosing a contractor can often feel overwhelming, but we’re here to help. One of the most critical pieces of advice we can offer is to hire a licensed contractor. While the work may come with a higher price tag, it is a crucial investment in your peace of mind and the quality of your project. Licensed contractors are not only qualified in the type of work you are hiring for, but they also adhere to industry standards and regulations, as well as Town codes, ordinances, and policies, ensuring your project is completed safely and correctly. This certification offers protection if anything goes wrong, providing a safeguard against potential issues that may arise during the course of your project.

Should you opt for an unlicensed contractor, you are introducing yourself to risks and uncertainties. Unlicensed contractors may lack necessary training, experience, or expertise, which could potentially lead to poor workmanship, defective installations, or even unfinished or abandoned projects. Further, hiring an unlicensed contractor could leave you vulnerable to legal or financial liabilities. Unlike their licensed counterparts, unlicensed contractors may not carry liability insurance, meaning any accidents, injuries, or damages that occur during the project could result in significant out-of-pocket expenses for you.

To ensure your project runs smoothly and without unnecessary risk, it’s essential to take proactive steps when hiring a contractor. Start by investigating the contractor’s background and track record, including asking for and checking references from past clients. Make sure to obtain a detailed written contract that covers all aspects of the project, including scope, timeline, materials, and costs, and ensure it specifies that the contractor will secure the necessary permits. Additionally, confirm proof of liability insurance and follow a payment plan linked to project milestones instead of paying the total amount upfront. These steps will protect your investment and help ensure a safe, quality project.

As always, our Building and Community Development departments are here to help answer any questions you have about building safety, permitting, contractors, and much more. With decades of experience, our staff will help ensure your projects are completed successfully.

Join us next week as we discuss all things property maintenance in the Town of West Point!