No License or Permit will come back to haunt – Ventura County, Santa Barbara, Conejo Valley Licensed Landscape Contractor
It’s always tempting to save a few dollars. There are times it makes perfect sense. Instead of buying Vicks NyQuil, buying CVS generic would give you the exact same product at a cheaper price. There’s no harm in doing this, and it will save you money all while giving you the same results of the name brand. When doing home repair or renovation, however, things aren’t so simple. Unlike comparing name brand and generic (apples to apples), no builder is alike (apples to orange). Each has a different set of qualifications and work ability. Some are licensed, some are not. Some have years of experience, some do not. Some have an excellent reputation, some do not. Some can do electrical and carpentry, some cannot. It is important that the builder you choose has strong abilities in the scope of work you want performed.
Permits are extremely important. The vast majority of landscape jobs do not need permits, but it’s important to know that some do. For example, some cities require a permit and inspection of an overhead structure, such as one you’d find over a backyard patio. If you hire an unlicensed contractor, chance are that they will not get the necessary permits. So what does this mean for you? It means there is no guarantee that the finished product is safe. It also means that any damage or injury caused by the workmanship of the product will not be covered by your insurance. Lastly, if you decide to sell your home, you’re in for a huge headache. The buyer has the right to know about any additions or improvements made to the home and can easily discover, through public records, if permits were taken out on the work. It means that the buyer has a few options. They can stick you for a significantly lower purchase price for taking on the risk of the un-permitted product or they can request that the seller get the work be permitted and inspected by the city before the transaction is completed. Getting the work permitted at this point will just open up a whole new can of worms. Enforcement and fines for non-permitted work varies greatly from region to region, but penalties can be between three and 10 times the cost of the permit. The city can even demand portions of the repair work be undone to make sure underlying components were constructed safely. No matter what path is taken, the initial savings by hiring an unlicensed contractor and not getting a permit will be lost and you’ll end up paying even more.
It’s important to do your research and feel comfortable with the licensed contractor you pick. Team up with them and work together to complete your project to your satisfaction; legally and safely. We at Scarlett’s Landscape see it as a privilege to serve you and value the trust each and every client gives us!