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Fence project has neighbor riding the line of liability

Risks of unlicensed contractor far outweigh benefits
Published on Oct 11, 2006

Q: My neighbor and I share a fence that needs to be replaced. The neighbor has a "contractor" he wants to use. The price is quite cheap. The man submitted a contract with his license number on it. However, I checked with the state contractor's board and found out he no longer is licensed and has no bond or insurance. I told my neighbor that I had concerns about liability if the man got hurt on my property. I then got an estimate from my contractor. Mine is licensed, bonded and carries workers' compensation. The estimate was almost double the first man's figure. I tried to explain to my neighbor about why a licensed contractor is more expensive -- overhead, use of high-quality lumber and the like. My neighbor still wants his friend to do the job, but I am not budging. How can I address this issue without causing bad feelings? A: We think the best thing to do would be to build the fence yourself. You would not only save a bunch of money, but you would gain a lot of satisfaction. If you'r...

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