Hiring unlicensed contractors is costly to consumers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Hiring unlicensed contractors is costly to consumers

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Hiring a licensed contractor for your repair work can save homeowners money Hiring a licensed contractor for your repair work can save homeowners money
Licensed contractors have experience and go through continuing education Licensed contractors have experience and go through continuing education
CAAG Executive Director Bruce Widener says homeowners are financially responsible if the unlicensed contractor gets hurt on the job CAAG Executive Director Bruce Widener says homeowners are financially responsible if the unlicensed contractor gets hurt on the job
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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Some licensed heating and air companies say they're busy repairing shoddy work done by unlicensed contractors. They say it's a costly problem for consumers. The Executive Director of the Conditioned Air Association of Georgia says the problem started growing when the economy was at its worst.

"Maybe a roofing contractor or a utility line contractor is looking for other business so he might think he can do heating and air conditioning work and so they try to go into the heating and air conditioning business," said CAAG Executive Director Bruce Widener.

Widener says you can end up with several problems if you hire an unlicensed contractor.

"A lot times the equipment manufacturer will not honor a warranty for equipment that is installed by an unlicensed contractor," said Widener. "The contractor may not be trained by the manufacturer to work on that kind of equipment."

Unlicensed contractors typically don't have insurance, leaving the homeowner financial responsible if they get hurt on the job.

 "Or if he damages something in the home a lot of times he won't have that type of liability insurance," said Widener. "The homeowner would have to sue the unlicensed contractor and probably not get a whole lot out of it."

Widener says licensed contractors must have experience and go through continuing education. Going with a unlicensed contractor maybe cheaper, but he says you get what you pay for.

"If the guy doesn't know what he's talking about or what he's really doing then the licensed contractor coming to fix those problems will have to undo what he's done and then fix it correctly," said Widener.

 So you better do your homework before hiring a contractor to make sure fixing a problem with your heating or air doesn't end up causing even bigger problems. For a list of the some of things that you should consider before hiring a contractor click here.

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