Lots of businesses have an area of their website for FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions).
Instead, here are some SAQ’s (Should Ask Questions), that you should ask anyone who wants to work on your home:
What kind of license do you have?
A lot of people will tell you they are licensed, if you ask. But what they may mean is that they have a local business license. Or maybe even they are proud of their driver’s license!
So you should ask: What kind of license do you have? If a person or company is going to take anything apart, or put anything together, reattach anything, or even drive in a nail, they need to have a CCB issued Contractors License. So if your gutters need the nails tapped in (and many do) then make sure the person has a Contractor’s License.
If a person or company is going to put anything on your roof to kill moss, they must have an Oregon Department of Agriculture Commercial Pesticide Operators (for a company) or Applicators (for an individual) License.
To be clear, if all someone is doing is strictly cleaning, they don’t need a Contractor’s License. So you can hire a window cleaner that just cleans windows, a gutter cleaner that just cleans gutters, or a roof cleaner that just cleans roofs. But they cannot legally attach or apply anything. If they do, they aren’t insured, which means you aren’t protected. And they are breaking the law.
What kind of insurance do you have?
Again, many will tell you that they are insured. But for what? The biggest failing is not having workers compensation insurance. So ask: Do you have workers comp insurance? Does it cover your employees? If they don’t have workers compensation insurance, you become the insurer of last resort—you become liable for any injuries that occur at your home.
Are the people working at my home employees or independent contractors?
Everyone working at your home is an employee. They may be the employee of the company you hired, if it is a company. If so, they should have workers compensation insurance, and you should ask, as noted above. If they are not employees of the company, but claim to be “independent contractors” (they almost never pass the independent contractor test), then they can be considered your employees, in case of an injury.
What if it is just one guy, or a guy and his buddy who knock on your door on a Saturday and offer to clean your gutters for cash, cheap? When they climb on the roof, they are your employees, and you are liable for any injuries they might suffer, or any damage that they might cause. You might want to ask yourself if possibly saving a few bucks is really worth the risk.
Action Northwest is a licensed Residential General Contractor, CCB #186819, and an ODA licensed Certified Pesticide Operator, license number AG-L 1004324CPO. We carry Liability, Auto, and Workers Comp Insurance with $1,000,000 policy limits. We are covered, so you are covered.
We happily provide free estimates for our services. Click the button or give us a call at (503) 407-3346 and let us know how we can help.