• NIC_Kim

Is this contractor legitimate?

Updated: Jan 16, 2020

When collecting project cost estimates, be sure to compare apples to apples! Read on to learn more about which questions should be asked to determine a prospective contractor's legitimacy...

 

License

Regardless of whether or not a permit is needed for your project, a license most likely is required per Tennessee law. Such licensure is issued by the State of Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors upon satisfaction of application requirements and proof of competency, as may be required and as measured by examination.


There are at least two types of licenses that may suffice for your future home improvement project:

  • Generally speaking, a Tennessee Contractor License is required for projects with a total cost (including all labor, materials, and other expenses) that is between $25,000 and not more than the Contractor's AGLM limit, which is determined by the State of Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors and listed on the license. The Contractor License is more than sufficient for projects under $25,000, but is REQUIRED for projects $25,000+ and for projects that include electrical, mechanical, plumbing, HVAC, roofing or masonry work. More information regarding Contractor licenses may be found at TN.GOV with complete definitions found at T.C.A. § 62-6-101.

  • Generally speaking, a Tennessee Home Improvement Contractor License would be adequate for most projects with a total cost (including all labor, materials, and other expenses) that is between $3,000 and not more than $24,999. Projects that include electrical, mechanical, plumbing, HVAC, roofing or masonry may also require a Contractor License. More information can be found at TN.GOV with complete definitions found at T.C.A. § 62-6-501.

When deciding on a contractor for your project, remember that their licensure must be in place and valid before they can legally offer you a bid. "It's in the works" is a common excuse for an unlicensed contractor.


Ask your potential contractor for a copy of their license or their license number before entertaining any bids for your project. Utilize Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance to verify this information. Remember to select the appropriate PROFESSION on the License Search and Verification page, i.e. "Contractors" for Contractor License or "Home Improvement" for Home Improvement Contractor License.


Confirm that:

  • the license is unexpired and in good standing with no history of bad business,

  • the business name matches what is listed on the license and certificate of insurance document,

  • the license classification is appropriate for your project,

  • and the monetary limit is sufficient for your project.

Nailed It Construction Services, Inc. maintains a valid Tennessee Contractor License (#69615) issued by the Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors. Our monetary limits (AGLM) and classifications are as follows: BC-A Residential $3 Million / BC-b(sm) Small Commercial $1.5 Million. As part of our standard business practices, we provide a copy of our license to our potential clients with every consultation appointment confirmation. We're even happy to provide this document upon request before an appointment is scheduled for the peace of mind of our future clients. By willingly providing this documentation up front to our clients, they find that they are able to complete their research independently and easily verify our licensure.

 

Insurance

Tennessee contractors are required to secure insurance coverage for general liability and worker's compensation/ employer's liability. These types of coverage help to protect both the contractor and the homeowner from bearing the cost of injuries and accidental damage that may occur at the project site. Without proof of the contractor's valid coverage, the homeowner may be found liable for injuries sustained at their property, or may be left to pay for additional expenses related to accidental damage.

  • Ask your prospective contractor to provide proof of their insurance coverage in the form of a certificate of insurance document.

  • Verify that the name of the business matches the name on the certificate of insurance document and contractors license.

  • Confirm the information found on the certificate of insurance document and its validity with the insurance agency listed on the document. Be mindful that missing or incorrect information is often a sign of a falsified document. Also, be aware that purchasing then immediately cancelling an insurance policy after receiving documents is a common practice among shady contractors in attempt to fool unknowing clients.

  • Verify that the policies' effective dates fall before your project is to begin and the expiration dates fall after your project is to be completed. Make sure to account for extra time due to unforeseen delays.

  • Compare the contractor's insurance coverage limits to the size of your home improvement project as well as the home systems that may be affected by the project. Are the coverage limits adequate in the event of a worst-case scenario?

Nailed It Construction Services, Inc. maintains valid insurance coverage and, as part of our standard business practices, we provide our certificate of insurance document to our potential clients with every appointment confirmation. We're even happy to provide this document upon request before an appointment is scheduled for the peace of mind of our future clients. By willingly providing this documentation up front to our clients, they find that they are able to complete their research independently and easily verify our coverage.

 

Bond

A construction bond is a type of surety bond that protects against disruptions or financial loss due to a contractor's failure to complete a project or failure to meet contract specifications. A bond adds another layer of trustworthiness for a client, but it also may be required of a contractor to fulfill certain licensing requirements. Again, this information should always be requested from a contractor BEFORE accepting any bid, not after a problem has already occurred.


Nailed It Construction Services, Inc. maintains a valid surety bond with proof available upon request.

 

Permanent Address

Does the contractor have a permanent address posted publicly? Does it match what’s listed on the contractor's license, insurance and bond documents? If not, the contractor may just as well be working out of a truck. Working out of a truck may keep his expenses low, but so will skipping out on a job before it's complete. As the old saying goes, "Expect the best, plan for the worst..." Will you know where to find the contractor when something goes wrong?


Nailed It Construction Services, Inc. has maintained the same permanent address at 9817 Huff N Puff Road, Lakeland, TN 38002, for several years.


 

Federal Tax Identification Number

The contractor is likely obligated to have a federal tax identification number/ employer identification number (EIN) if they have employees or are a corporation or partnership (among other triggers). No tax ID?… What other steps might be skipped when “no one” is looking?


Nailed It Construction Services, Inc. has an employer identification number and will provide clients with this information upon written request of IRS form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Information.



 

Specialty Certifications & Accreditation

A “jack of all trades” is a master of none, without proof! Sure, a contractor may tell you that they have extensive experience, but if there are no certifications showing proof of the extra miles taken to become more knowledgeable in their field, no project photographs that are verified as their own work, and no genuine customer reviews, references or recommendations on trustworthy platforms to back up their claims, then how much is their word really worth to you?


Nailed It Construction Services, Inc. has several specialty certifications, including:

  • IICRC - Water Damage Restoration/Applied Structural Drying Certification

  • TX Department of Insurance - All Lines Insurance Adjuster License

  • HAAG - Roofing Inspector Certification

  • Xactimate Estimation Software - Level 2 User Certification

Furthermore, Nailed It Construction Services, Inc. is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). We also have several positive reviews, customer testimonials, project photos and recommendations on our Facebook page, as well as even more examples of our work here on our website!


 

Nailed It Construction Services, Inc. truly wishes you the best in your home improvement endeavor, and we hope this post has provided you with important tips to keep you safe while hiring a contractor, no matter who that may be.


You are invited to schedule a FREE consultation appointment with Nailed It Construction Services, Inc. Just mention this post when you call (901) 654-6677 to schedule!


May this past 6 minutes spent reading save you hours, days, weeks, and even years of headache!



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