We want to follow up on our last post, “Don’t Get Fooled by Unlicensed Indiana Plumbers,” about the inadvisability of hiring unlicensed plumbers. Just one day after we posted ours, the Indy Star published “Hiring an unlicensed contractor can cost you dearly in the end,” which talks about the possible consequences of using unlicensed contractors of any kind.
One of the key points of the Indy Star article is that homeowners in Indianapolis who have work done without verifying a contractor’s licensing status are responsible for that work, and must correct any violations that arise from the it. It is important to note that only the homeowner or a licensed contractor can acquire the needed permits to legally have the work performed. As the Indy Stare article mentions, you should consider it a red flag if your contractor asks you to pull permits on his behalf.
While plumbing is the only trade licensed at the state level in Indiana, local municipalities throughout Indiana have their own licensing and certification requirements. In Indianapolis, general contractors, electricians, heating, ventilation and cooling technicians, and even wrecking services must be licensed through the Indianapolis Department of Code Enforcement or risk being fined. To qualify for a license in Indy, contractors and workmen must meet certain requirements to prove they can perform the work, including a review by a board of appointed peers. The city can fine contractors for working without a valid license and can bar them from working in Indianapolis with a court injunction.
One other thing to keep in mind: a license does not necessarily guarantee the quality of the work. For example, in Fishers, contractors only need to provide proof of liability insurance and pay a $100 annual fee to be registered there. You should always try to determine competency through other independent sources, such as recommendations from family or friends, comments and reviews on local BBB websites, complaints made to local licensing agencies, etc.
When asked about the need for license enforcement operations, Indianapolis licensing board director Rick Powers stated, “Electricity kills. Gas explodes. You could die or be injured. I never apologize for saving lives. It’s about protecting the consumer.” And we couldn’t agree more!
If you need work done on your home’s furnace, heat pump or central heating & air conditioning system, whether it’s a simple repair or the installation of new equipment, you can always rely on our team of skilled, licensed HVAC service technicians to get the job done right.