Why You Should Only Hire a Bonded Contractor

Why You Should Only Hire a Bonded Contractor

Having people you do not personally know in performing tasks on your home, property or business is a very risky thing to do. This is why it is important to hire contractors how are not just licensed, but bonded as well. Otherwise you will be taking a huge amount of risks that may lead to other problems such as lawsuit, where implied warranties provided by the state may be void.

There’s a difference between a licensed and a bonded contractor—both of which you would have to consider before hiring.

Licensed contractor

A licensed contractor gives you assurance through government-based standards that your contractor is capable of any type of skilled labor, for instance, performing jobs on another person’s home. Electricians, plumbers and ‘dry wallers’ are usually required to have a license. Other general tasks need other types of licenses as required by the state. In many other states, being bonded sometimes becomes a prerequisite to obtaining a license.

A bonded contractor on the similar hand, means that your contractor has purchased a “surety bond.” This is a type of insurance policy protects a property owner from risks of further damages, for instance. If they fail to complete the job properly, this bond can provide compensation to a property owner.  Here is some more info on contractor bonds.

So why should you only hire a bonded contractor?

Hiring licensed contractors are a given. Otherwise, it would be like hiring people illegally, by working for people without a government-mandated license. Without having a license just gives more reason that the contractor may also not be following other laws which includes having proper permit, skill and inspection requirements. Having a bonded contractor, on the other hand, is a choice you would have to take wisely, because bonded contractors give you the additive assurance that your warranty claims are protected. When hiring contractors in general, bonded ones protect you from bad workmanship at home or in your yard for instance.

Now even if you win a job quality complaint in civil court, there could still be a good chance that your contractor might not be able to pay you for the damages further caused—more so if he isn’t a bonded contractor. To explain things simpler, bonded (and licensed) contractors make them responsible for paying their damages and that you won’t have to worry much about it.

Additional tip: You may also contact your state licensing board to determine if your contractor is licensed and currently has good standing.

Getting a Contractor Bond In California

A Step-by-Step Guide on Getting a Contractor Bond In California

The process of getting a contractor bond in California, like in any other state, may prove quite difficult if you do not know where and how to look.  We shall look at some of the common procedures you will need to go through to secure the bond in California.

Step-1: Choose a Bond

There are many companies in California offering contractor bonds and a little homework will surely land you in the hands of the most competent. In case you do not seem to find one, you can settle with SuretyBonds.com since they are legalized to conduct business in every state.

Now, the first step in getting a contractor bond in California often involves choosing your most preferred bond type. It is important to note that these bond types qualify you for a certain amount, not to mention they cost differently depending on the Credit Score.

The following are the 4 types of contractor bonds you may be eligible for in California;

  • Contractor’s License Bond – This bond qualifies you for up to $15 000 and with a credit score of 680 and up, its cost starts from $99. The cost ranges between $100-700 with a credit score between 679-600 and then settles at $700+ if your credit score is below 599.
  • Contractor’s Disciplinary Bond – The bond amount you are entitled in this kind of bond varies and the following is the trend in terms of cost per credit score; 680 and up [starts at 1%], 679-600 [4-8%] and 599 or lower [over 10%].
  • Qualifying Individual Bond – The Qualifying Individual Bond entitles you to a bond amount of $12 500 and with a credit score of 680 and up, the cost starts at $125. The cost is between $500 -1000 if your credit score is between 679 -600 and then shoots to 1250 or over if you have a credit score below 599.
  • Farm Labor Contractor Bond – This is the last bond type you can get in California and the bond amount you are eligible for here is $25000. The cost begins at $250 with a credit score of 680 or over and then rises to $1000 -2000 with a credit score between 679 and 600. If you have a score of 599 or below, then it may cost you up to $2 5000 or over.

Step- 2: Enter Contact Information

The next step after identifying the type of bond you need is entering your contact information. This is the information that will enable the bond company to avail the required amount to you so it is important that you be as accurate and as detailed as possible when giving such information.

Step-3: Get a Quote

This is the last step and it basically involves the receipt of a free quote. The quote will be issued to you by the company and an ample time allowed so you can go through it and indeed ascertain whether it is favorable or not.