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Old 07-23-2008, 09:31 AM   #1
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Hiring someone unlicensed & uninsured- please help!


I received this estimate for work:

Living Room and Dining Room Drywall - $1,900
Remove all paneling and drop ceiling down to studs and joists.
Disposal of all debris
Floor will be covered and taped with plastic tarp
Ventilation, doorways, etc will be covered to minimize dust to other areas
Adjust existing electrical switches and outlets to be flush with drywall
New " drywall screwed in place, taped and sanded
1 additional outlet will be added in dining room.


Kitchen Drywall - $1,100
Existing pantry will be removed
Framing will be added around drain pipe behind pantry wall
Cabinets will be removed and put back up over new drywall
Remove all paneling and drop ceiling down to studs and joists.
Disposal of all debris
Floor will be covered and taped with plastic tarp
Ventilation, doorways, etc will be covered to minimize dust to other areas
Adjust existing electrical switches and outlets to be flush with drywall
New " drywall screwed in place, taped and sanded
1 additional outlet will be added in dining room.

NOTE: This estimate assumes all ways and ceilings are 16" on center, level and in shaped to accept drywall screws. Rot, irregularities or other obstructions behind existing paneling and ceiling will add to cost.


It seems reasonable to me, but this is the first big job I've hired someone to do- so is that a good price? This also includes the removal of plaster behind the paneling. I sent him a list of additional questions, one of them being if him & his partner are licensed & insured. He wrote back saying they're not, along w/answers to my other questions. So, this is what I asked him:


I would want a few references and to see work you did elsewhere, if that is possible. And something in the contract stating that we are not liable for any injuries that could potentially occur and that any accidental damages that occur will be be fully repaired at no additional expense. I think that would cover most of our concerns regarding why we would like to deal with someone who is licensed and insured. We basically just want to make sure that whoever we hire knows what they're doing, isn't going to take our money and run, isn't going to get hurt and sue us, or do damage to our home and charge us extra to fix it, or leave things in disrepair.


He said he'd add that to the contract and that it makes perfect sense that I'd be concerned about that- My question here is would adding something like that to the contract cover us in the event that something happens?


Anything I should be aware of? Would there still be risks to hiring him if that is in the contract, or would that protect me? Anything else I should add? Would adding things even make a difference?

Please help!

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Old 07-23-2008, 09:45 AM   #2
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Hiring someone unlicensed & uninsured- please help!


First of all, this is a DIY site. We are here to help you answer questions you may have on how to start/complete home projects on your own.

Secondly, anytime someone is entering into an agreement for construction/demolition of their home without a contract or with an unlicensed, uninsured contractor, you're asking for trouble. I don't care what the price is. You have no recourse if anything goes wrong. Why would a "professional" not insure himself? I wouldn't do it and if anything goes wrong, I cannot feel sorry for you. The internet and television is FILLED with horror stories with the situation you are thinking about putting yourself into.

While a contract is nice, if he takes off without finishing the job, what can you really do? Sue? Sure. How much will that cost you? Why should it be YOUR problem if he hurts himself working on your house because he isn't insured? I'd move on and start getting estimates from legitimate contractors. These fly-by-night guys can cost less because they don't have the overhead that a legitimate contractor does. But if something goes wrong, it will cost you more than you expect. If the job doesn't get finished or is completely badly, how much will it then cost you to have the job finished properly? You don't want to find out, trust me.

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Old 07-23-2008, 10:22 AM   #3
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Hiring someone unlicensed & uninsured- please help!


I totally agree with the excellent advice by Angus, get a licensed and insured contractor.
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What we've got here is... failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach. So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it... well, he gets it.
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Old 07-23-2008, 10:25 AM   #4
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Hiring someone unlicensed & uninsured- please help!


how much of a difference in cost do you think there would be from what he quoted me at if it were someone licensed & insured?
(fyi, i live in western ny)

and you dont think that adding something to the contract would give me any additional protection?
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Old 07-23-2008, 10:25 AM   #5
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Hiring someone unlicensed & uninsured- please help!


margog85 said:
"He said he'd add that to the contract and that it makes perfect sense that I'd be concerned about that- My question here is would adding something like that to the contract cover us in the event that something happens?"

A question for your lawyer.
Hiring somone without the proper insurance constitutes bad judgement.
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Old 07-23-2008, 10:30 AM   #6
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Hiring someone unlicensed & uninsured- please help!


Quote:
Originally Posted by margog85 View Post
how much of a difference in cost do you think there would be from what he quoted me at if it were someone licensed & insured?
(fyi, i live in western ny)

and you dont think that adding something to the contract would give me any additional protection?
Get competing estimates. They're usually free. Best way to find out "how much".

Contract with an illegitimate business will help in court. Do you want to end up there? Imagine the costs out of your pocket once there.
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Old 07-23-2008, 03:29 PM   #7
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Hiring someone unlicensed & uninsured- please help!


Quote:
Originally Posted by margog85 View Post
Please help!
My Advice: When in need of work that requires permit(s) and licensed individuals to do even a small portion of it:
NEVER hire unlicensed, uninsured, and unqualified people to do that work. Your home is your second-largest investment.....that houses your largest and most important investment - your loved ones (family).

Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 07-23-2008 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 07-23-2008, 05:08 PM   #8
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Hiring someone unlicensed & uninsured- please help!


In Maryland, the Home Improvement Commission is there to protect the public. It's already paid for by tax dollars.

You can probably check this guy's costs here
http://www.amazon.com/RSMeans-Building-Construction-Cost-Means/dp/0876290209/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216850410&sr=1-1
(borrow the book through interlibrary loan).

But whether his costs are above or below these numbers, it sounds to me like you're taking an unnecessary chance.
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Old 07-23-2008, 07:20 PM   #9
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Hiring someone unlicensed & uninsured- please help!


There are too many published accounts of deals such as this gone awry. Skip the potential headache and find someone reputable. I guarantee you that you will pay more. But then, what price do you place on your peace of mind and security.
As Nancy Reagan was fond of saying: "Just say NO!"
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:05 PM   #10
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Hiring someone unlicensed & uninsured- please help!


There's no mention of a required electrical permit in there either. Hmmm. Wonder why?

Great advice from these guys. I advise you take it before you get taken.
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Old 07-25-2008, 12:54 AM   #11
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Hiring someone unlicensed & uninsured- please help!


Wow, that is a low price. I own a remodeling company and I don't think I could do it for twice that! I'd be concerned if I were you.

You can check out my blog for more info on hiring remodeling contractors...

http://taylordhome.com

There is an e-mail link on our about us page-feel free to use it and I will try to answer your questions

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