Agent

Unlicensed contractor affordable but risky

Kitchen remodel could drain finances of all parties involved

The real estate event of the summer
Connect with other top producing agents at Connect SF, Aug 7-11, 2017

Q: I am planning a kitchen remodel. Based on all the bids, I have short-listed two contractors. One is a licensed general contractor who has given me good references; the other is an unlicensed one who says he will get the job done by himself and his family members. His bid, for the exact same materials that I want him to buy from my chosen wholesale suppliers, is almost 30 percent less than the licensed contractor's. The unlicensed guy has given me good references as well. If I employ the licensed guy, he is willing to do all the permit work himself and has given me a full quote including those costs. The unlicensed guy says I can get the homeowner-builder permit myself, and he will ensure full building-code compliance and that the work passes inspections. If I go with the cheaper alternative of the unlicensed guy, apart from the risk that I am taking for his lack of liability, and the fact that he is not bonded, am I breaking any California law? Also, the law says a c...