It’s always exciting to build a new home or to renovate your house, but in all that excitement, don’t forget to do your research! There are thousands of contractors in the state of Georgia but not all of them are qualified to bear that title or to complete the construction projects that they advertise.
GENERAL/RESIDENTIAL CONTRACTOR’S LICENSE
First, the state of Georgia requires all individuals who operate or otherwise represent themselves as a residential or general contractor to possess a general/residential contractor’s license with the state of Georgia. Additionally, all companies who operate as residential or general contracting companies must have an individual serving as their licenses qualifying agent. That means the company must have an employee or owner who possesses that same license “on behalf of” that company. If you hire an unlicensed contractor, you run the risk of hiring a person or company who is not qualified, knowledgeable, or experienced enough, and they may not be up for the task no matter how confidently they talk about their contracting skills to you. The list of all contracting license holders is publicly available. If you want to hire a general contractor, make sure to search that contractor’s name or the name of that contractor’s company on the following website to make sure they are licensed and up to date on that license. https://verify.sos.ga.gov/verification/
Not all individuals who you may hire to complete work on your home necessarily need to possess a license. Georgia law allows certain contactors to undertake construction or repair projects as long as the type of work in question falls under the Georgia list of “Specialty” contractors. At the following link, you may find a full list of all such specialty contracting types for which Georgia does not require a license. https://sos.ga.gov/page/limited-service-specialty-contractors-policy-statements
One more license issue to consider when selecting the person or company with whom you entrust with the improvement or repair of your home: an additional license is required for these three particular specialties: electrician work, plumbing work, and heating/air conditioning work. O.C.G.A. § 43-14-8 takes the requirements further since a more detailed and intricate knowledge is required when it comes to working on your home’s pipe, electrical, or HVAC system. Using the same link for finding a general or residential contractor’s license, you may also search to verify the Georgia license status of any and all electricians, plumbers, or HVAC contractors.