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Beware of Unlicensed Contractors – It’s Just Not Worth It

If you’re going to hire a painting contractor in Toronto, make sure that they are not part of one of the many unlicensed contractor scams that are out there. These people are not licensed, bonded, or insured and will either rip you off or do substandard work.

Unlicensed contractors can be inexperienced, untrustworthy, and even dangerous. They may not know what they are doing or how to do it properly. They could also use unsafe materials or practices. The last thing you want is for your home renovation contracts to turn into a nightmare. That costs you more time and money than they should have.

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Did you know that out of 20,000 residential renovation and painting contractors in Ontario (Toronto predominantly),

A Whopping 37% Do NOT Possess A Master Business License or A Valid HST Number?

This substantial “underground” painting contractor industry in Toronto and the GTA exists. Bcause, for most people, the biggest factor in a home renovation is price. The lower the price, the better, right? But there’s a reason unlicensed painting contractors can underbid for a job. In the event of a problem, the only ones responsible for the damage will be YOU and your assets.

Risks of Hiring An Unlicensed Contractor to Paint Your Home

Here Are the Top Problems You’ll Face with An Unlicensed Painting Contractor:

  • • Most unlicensed contractors lack formal training. If they haven’t bothered to get a license, why would you believe they actually invested the time for proper education in their craft?
  • • Ask yourself, ‘why don’t they have a license in the first place?’ They may have been licensed in the past but lost it due to complaints, legal charges, and other issues. In other words, they are trying to fly “under the radar” for whatever reason.  Would you trust your biggest financial asset with someone who can’t even be clear and above board?
  • • Unlicensed businesses almost always sub-contract and hire other unlicensed workers. Why would a reputable contractor risk their business with someone who isn’t licensed?  This is also how those low estimates play out – unlicensed help is cheaper.
  • • No license means they’re likely not paying taxes. Don’t have any liability insurance,  don’t carry workers’ compensation coverage, and almost certainly are not bonded with criminal background checks. Without an actual business and employees to protect, there’s no incentive to carry coverage.
painter on a cherry picker while painting
painter painting exterior

And Guess Who’s Responsible For Any Claims, Accidents, Thefts, Vandalism, Fraud, or Poor Workmanship?

  • • You might think your home insurance coverage will protect you but think again. Some policies state that if you knowingly hire an unlicensed contractor they can deny coverage.
  • • Accountability: Sure the job looks good today, but what about in a year or two? It’s very unlikely that you’re going to get a contract or guarantee with an unlicensed contractor.

The fact is, they’ll probably be long gone when the time comes.  In fact, 95% of painting contractors go out of business within the first 3 to 5 years.

Even when they do have a licence.  The failure rate for unlicensed painters is far worse!

What to Look For When Hiring A Contractor

A good contractor will have the following:

  1. A business licence. They should be able to provide you with a copy of it.
  2. Insurance. They should be able to provide you with proof of it. This is very important as it protects both you and your home in case of an accident or injury on site!
  3. References from previous clients. The best way to find out if someone is good at what they do is by talking to people who have hired them before.
  4. A contract that clearly outlines what work will be done, how much it will cost and when the payment is due. You should also check if there are any warranties or guarantees on the work.
  5. A portfolio of projects they’ve completed. This will let you see what kind of work they do, and give you an idea of whether or not it’s something you like.

This blog post may be useful for anyone who is in the process of hiring a painting contractor: The 7 Biggest Homeowner Mistakes When Hiring A Painting Contractor

painters painting door frame home painters toronto

Do Painters Need Qualifications?

As a rule of thumb, if you’re thinking about hiring a painter, they should have some form of industry qualification. Painters who have industry qualifications are more likely to be qualified. Have the right skills and knowledge, and know what they’re doing. This means they’re less likely to cause damage while they’re working on your home.

Hire A Professional

Bottom Line:

You’re taking a huge risk with your home when you hire an unlicensed contractor. Think of it like this: Would you purchase your next laptop computer from Best Buy or a guy selling one from his truck? With a properly licensed business, you can verify its reputation, check real past references. And know that in the event of property damage, an accident, or injury, you will be completely protected. 

That’s why at Home Painters, earning your trust is our #1 priority. We strive to give you value and peace of mind for your home improvement dollar. At Home Painters we hire only experienced painters that are fully trained to the high standards we bring to every job. We also protect you and your property with $5 million General Liability Insurance (versus the industry average of $2 million). And have full WSIB coverage. And even when the job is done, we’re still there for you – all of our work comes with a Two Year Quality Guarantee.  

home painters beside cherry picker

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Brian Young - Home Painters Toronto

From The Owner & Founder

BRIAN YOUNG

Hello and welcome!

I’m both deeply honoured and flattered you are considering using our services.

Since 1987 when I was at York University simply earning my way through school, I’ve had the privilege to meet and work with thousands of amazing homeowners like yourself.

Besides the birth of my daughter, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a homeowner’s life change when we have transformed their dream home into a masterpiece. For that reason, we take our jobs very seriously and are committed to our cause.

At Home Painters our mission is to paint homeowners’ dreams, and make your painting experience last a lifetime!
I look forward to hopefully meeting you one day, as it brings me tremendous joy to make homeowner’s dreams come true.

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