Have you ever been tempted to hire someone to do a “side-job” for you? That is, someone who knows how to do the work, but is really NOT a licensed contractor? Sure you can save a few dollars, but what about the huge risk you are taking? I am talking about the risk that IF that person gets hurt while working on your job, he has the right to sue you for his injuries–even if they are due to his own carelessness! All legititmate contractors must carry no-fault industrial insurance to cover workers in case of injury. If the person you hire does not have this insurance, and is not a licensed contractor, WA state law presumes that YOU are his de-facto his employer. So, what if the guy you hire falls off a ladder and breaks his leg-or worse? YOU are responsible for his medical costs! Think about that the next time you hire some bootlegger to do work that should be done by a licensed contractor. And don’t think these things never happen–they happen every year right here in our state. Just ask your attorney.
And on another note, if the person you hire is not licensed, he is not going to be able to pull a permit and get the work inspected. If you skip that step, you are 1) violating the law, and 2) endangering your homeowner insurance coverage in case something goes wrong later and damages your property.
Lastly, if your sideworker does a poor job, what is your recourse? A legitimate contractor has a $12,000.00 bond that can be used to compensate you for substandard work or damage. Your side-worker will not have a bond, and probably no attachable assets, so you really have no warranty after you pay for the work.
These are the risks of hiring an unlicensed person to do work for you. Risk has a cost, and if you subtract the cost to these risks to the side-work savings, you will find that side-work is really no bargain at all. Your so-called savings are really the the cost that should be allocated to cover these risks. Hiring side-workers is a lot like playing Russian Roulette…why would you do that?