Why It Is Important To Hire Professional HOA Contractors
Of all the responsibilities and goals that a homeowners association has to uphold, one of the most critical is to oversee the upkeep of common areas in the community which includes parks, shower facilities, entertainment venues, gazebos, community centers, and other commonly shared facilities. Hiring quality, dependable HOA contractors is an essential part of this. Beyond Custom has been in the Chicago area a long time and understands the unique needs when it comes to apartment, condo or any other type of community that depends on a homeowners association to get communal jobs done right.
When choosing HOA contractors to work on, maintain, and repair community property there is no excuse for not hiring a licensed contractor to perform the work. This is number one priority and it is not something that an HOA wants to cut corners on to try and save a few bucks. Unlicensed contractors are a risk and hazard to themselves and others. They put the HOA at risk for a multitude of very serious and potentially devastating problems.
Before you choose your HOA contractors, take a look at the tips below to make sure you get the best and most from your HOA maintenance provider.
What To Look For In HOA Contractors
Why Would an Unlicensed Contractor Even be Considered?
The usual reason given for why an individual or business chose to go with unlicensed HOA contractors is the price. They are almost always the cheapest quote for the work. This is because they are not adding on the cost of their licensing fees, registrations, insurance, and other items that a true contractor pays for every month and year.
This lets them offer an overall cheaper price on every job they bid on. However, the initial lower price usually ends up costing the homeowners association a lot of money in the long run when things go wrong. Far more often than not, unlicensed HOA contractors turn out to not be as skilled and experienced as they claimed they were. When this happens, your HOA maintenance suffers and your community ultimately pays more.
Basic Protections Afforded by Licensed HOA Contractors
A license held by general HOA contractors is a sign that help reassure the HOA that the individual knows what they are doing. Holding the license ensures, at the very least, the required minimal amount of training, experience, and knowledge about the field. You know their background is legitimate because someone cannot just print off an official license. They must prove their depth of knowledge to attain one.
This does not mean a licensed contractor will be the best or better than the other licensed HOA contractors you look at. What it does is guarantee at standard level of proficiency. And if a dispute arises, an arbitration proceeding can commence that will be governed by the department that issued the license. So working with HOA contractors that hold a license is a promise that, if something goes wrong, you have a course of action to help protect you and your assets and investments.
The license is also a way to check on the track record of the person you are considering for HOA maintenance, repairs or construction projects. The state department can look up the contractor and see if there have been complaints, grievances, lawsuits, or any major issues with that contractor in the past. These are just some of the reasons why an HOA should only consider licensed HOA contractors for their work.
Property and Personal Protection
Building and renovation projects can be very involved, even for smaller projects, and they all will generally require city, county or state permits in order to do the work. Unlicensed HOA contractors usually cannot get these permits and do the work unauthorized, which ends up leaving the homeowners association holding the bag for liability on any damages that occur.
Without the permits, if someone in the community gets hurt during the construction as a result of something the contractor did or didn’t do correctly, it is the HOA that is responsible not the contractor.
Insurance against damage and injury is something all licensed HOA contractors are required to carry. This protects the homeowners association from being liable for injuries or from being responsible for the costs of property that might be damaged during the construction.
For example, an HOA is having an unlicensed and uninsured contractor work on one of their buildings. During the work, the contractor ends up dumping shingles off the roof and they fall and hit a car that was parked nearby. Because unlicensed HOA contractors are not covered, it is now the HOA that will have to pay for the cost to repair the car.
It is not worth the risk and it is better to spend a little more at the start and get a licensed contractor right from the beginning!
Third Party Damages
If other parties who are also involved in the construction project are damaged by actions of unlicensed HOA contractors, then it falls on the hiring party to carry all responsibility for damages and injury. If the homeowners association is the hiring party, they will be responsible for all of the contractor’s actions during his employment and any injuries, accidents, and damages he caused.
Here are a few examples of how unlicensed HOA contractors can cause issues with third party members and vendors on the work site:
- The local HOA used an unlicensed contractor to fix the electrical system in one of their buildings. A few weeks later, some new AC units were installed. Within a few days they were smoking, shorting out, and catching fire. A total of $50,000 in damaged units and property were tallied and the cause turned out to be the poor wiring by the contractor they had hired. The contractor disappeared after the incident and the association was left to pay for the damages.
- A homeowners association used unlicensed HOA contractors for plumbing to finish work in the park’s restroom in order to save money on the already costly renovation that had been done. On a routine inspection by the country they found that the plumbing was not up to code and the entire facility was closed down. No one was allowed to use it. The association was ordered to fix the work to make it up to code. They also had to pay a hefty fine for breaking the law and not being up to code.
- A small pavilion at the community center needed some HOA maintenance done on their roofing after a storm. The association hired someone living in the neighborhood to do the job and did not check any credentials. The simple $2,000 roof repair ended up costing the HOA more than $60,000 when the worker fell through the roof and ended up breaking his back and spent two weeks in the hospital.
So it is easy to see why hiring unlicensed HOA contractors is a terrible idea that should never even be considered as a viable option. It leaves a homeowners association open to a great deal of risk. There is no basic level of protection. The only real way to protect assets, property, and community members is by using licensed contractors!
Beyond Custom Has Licensed, Quality Minded HOA Contractors
Beyond Custom’s licensed, BBB-accredited HOA contractors offers affordable, time-tested services that never skimp on quality. We serve the greater Chicago areas and surrounding communities. Our welcoming staff is happy offer free estimates. Just pick up the phone and call Beyond Custom at (630) 806-1690 or use our Contact Page.