Hiring San Jose Ca Contractors – Check Their License Status!

My friend of mine who is an Interior Designer recently suggested that I contact her “contractor” to have some work done in my San Jose Ca home.  Even people who know better may from time to time discover that they missed a step in the hiring process. As a San Jose Real Estate Agent I always check license status before I refer anyone to my clients. I also check an agent’s license status before presenting or writing offers. A copy of the agents license status is placed in my file.

We cannot assume anything!  Referrals are great.  All business owners love them. Just because someone we know and trust refers someone to us does not mean the referral is licensed. We need to ask the right questions and check the referrals license status. 

I recently made the mistake of hiring my interior designer’s “contractor” to perform work in my home.  It did not take long after the work was started before red flags were waiving all around the project.  First red flag was the contractor never showed up.  His “employees” who did not speak English arrived to do the work.  I later learned that if I wanted the “contractor” onsite to supervise it would cost me more money.  After several frustrating days of attempting to over-see the workers with whom I could not communicate with, I asked my interior designer to stop by to see the poor quality work and asked her for his license number as I could not find it on the Contractor’s State License Board website.

What baffles my mind is how someone I know and have done business with in the past does not seem to feel that referring unlicensed people is not a problem. When I questioned her and the risk and liability it places on a homeowner her response was:

“Never referred to Jim as a licensed contractor.  Doesn’t mean he knows any less than someone who passed an exam.  He’s just never been w/out work so it’s never been an issue.”

The “contractors” response: “I have 30 years worth of satisfied customers, and no one has ever complained. I never tell people I am licensed, and if I am asked I am always honest.”

Good lessons here for all.  Don’t make the same mistake I made. Be careful not to buy too much into what people say when they are selling you their product or service. When it comes to hiring a contractor – check their license status first.

If you choose to hire someone who is not licensed, at least understand the risk and go into it with your eyes wide open.

Tags: , ,