When you’re getting bids on a landscape project, you are probably comparing prices, timelines, experience, and references from satisfied customers. But are you checking to see if the landscape contractors bidding on your job are licensed—and does it matter? It does. Here’s why you should only hire a licensed professional landscape contractor in Pottsville, PA.
Both parties are protected should something go wrong.
If an unlicensed contractor is injured on your property while on the job, you could be liable and face a lawsuit. A licensed professional will carry workers’ compensation insurance, which protects the company’s employees from injuries sustained on the job. This protects the homeowner, the employee, and the company from hefty medical bills and loss-of-income claims.
In order to receive a trade license, contractors must demonstrate proof of insurance, and that’s one of the first things you should ask for when soliciting bids. Don’t waste your time getting a bid from a landscape contractor that can’t offer proof of insurance—because it may also mean the company and crew are operating without a license. Liability insurance and workers’ insurance are absolute requirements for any contractor working on your property!
Bonding is also an important requirement. This protects you from substandard work, unfinished projects, damage to your property resulting from the work being done (or negligence on the part of the contractor), as well as any liens against your property should the landscape contractor fail to pay subcontractors or suppliers.
How do you know that a landscape contractor isn’t licensed? First, the bid will be low. Since unlicensed contractors don’t pay for licensing, they can afford to bid lower. However, this puts you at risk so beware of a too-good-to-be bid! Second, they refuse to show proof of insurance. Eliminate them immediately from the running.
You are more likely to get professional-quality work from a licensed landscape contractor.
Unlicensed landscape contractors don’t have to demonstrate to any governing body that they can actually perform the work. Again, this puts you at risk of footing the bill for redoing shoddy work—and good luck collecting from the individual. Licensing requires extensive training, testing, and ongoing education. Ultimately, you get what you pay for. Licensed landscape contractors take pride in their work. They know their reputation is at stake.
Licensed landscaping contractors have proper training and proven expertise and experience. While anyone can slap a logo on their pickup, hand out a business card, and tell you what you want to hear, only a licensed landscape contractor will have the actual knowledge and experience to do what you ask of them. For example, a reputable landscape contractor will tell you upfront if the company is licensed to do any plumbing, such as for irrigation or drainage systems. This is an additional license—but you won’t hear an unlicensed contractor telling you that.
If you hire an unlicensed landscape contractor, you run the risk of paying more for their services in the long run because of shoddy workmanship. Always check references, licenses, and insurance, and do your due diligence before hiring anyone for your landscaping project.