Licensed to skill

Don’t let an unlicensed professional take care of a professional job. And that includes someone who is licensed for a different skill set than the one you’re employing them for. Your carpenter may be excellent, but please don’t ask them to rewire your breaker box.

Recently, I’ve searched for “the best circuit breaker companies in Edmond” on a commonly-used website that connect homeowners with industry professionals. I got a list of 5-10 people, including: a handyman, a roofing repairman, a carpenter, and a fence repair company.

And one electrician.

Most of the websites that link homeowners to industry professionals are unreliable in this way and aren’t really in it for the benefit of the homeowners. While the people that my search pulled up might have been top-notch in their respective fields, most of them would not have the licensing to do electrical work.

What does that mean for you? Employing someone who isn’t licensed and insured (or is licensed and insured in a different industry area) is taking a big gamble with your family’s safety and with your checkbook.

With electrical issues particularly, the risk of fire in case of poorly-done work is extremely dangerous. Your house could literally burn down because of the work of someone who is willing to do work for $500 that a licensed professional would charge $5,000 for.

The liability is all on you as a homeowner if anything goes wrong in a project done by someone without a license.

If an uninsured handyman gets injured doing electrical work in your attic, you will be footing the bill for his workman’s comp.

If your house burns down because of the work of a carpenter re-wiring your home, your homeowners insurance will not cover the loss.

If your landlord hires someone who isn’t insured to do work on your office or apartment, and there’s a fire or injury, there will be a legal battle between your attorney and theirs that will probably cost a lot more than simply hiring someone who is licensed to do the work they are hired for.

I’ve found that Home Advisor and Thumbtack are currently not very reliable websites to use to search for professionals. Angie’s List is, and that’s the one I recommend.

When you are paying someone to do highly-skilled work on your home, do yourself a favor. Pick a professional company who will stand by their word and who can give you proof of their insurance. This will save you the time, money, and potentially life lost from hiring someone who is not a licensed professional.

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