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Construction Planning: Using Unlicensed Contractors

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2014 | Business Construction Law

Sometimes the hardest part of a construction planning project is finding a way to stay under budget. One way businesses accomplish that is by hiring contractors who give the lowest bids for a particular job. Sometimes, however, these contractors aren’t actually licensed. If you’re planning a construction project, you should contact a construction law attorney who can help you avoid unnecessary exposure to liability, like that which comes with hiring an unlicensed contractor.

The perceived benefits of hiring an unlicensed contractor are understandable. For example, in Oregon a contractor who does unlicensed work may not bring a breach of contract claim or file construction liens for payment against an employer.  In that respect, the unlicensed contractor takes on the risk that any work completed may go unpaid.

But taking advantage in this way can result in liability exposure that far outweighs the contractor’s fee. Imagine, for example, you hire an unlicensed contractor to do some electrical wiring. The job may appear sound, and you may have gotten a great deal. Now imagine at some point down the line that electrical work is revealed to be shoddy, and results in someone being injured, or damage to the project. This could result in a claim from the injured party, and costs to repair the project that insurance is unlikely to cover. Regardless of the scale of the damage to the project or person, the resulting costs will undoubtedly outweigh the cost of hiring a legitimately licensed contractor.

Avoiding exposure to liability where possible should be a central concern to any construction project manager. An experienced construction law team can show you how.