Licensed vs. Unlicensed Contractors Painting Contractors San Jose

The Real Cost of Hiring an Unlicensed Painting Contractor

The Real Cost of Hiring an Unlicensed Painting Contractor


Trying to find the right painting contractor to work in your house can be overwhelming. You may come across licensed and unlicensed contractors in the process. 


Why should you hire a licensed contractor? 


  • Basic Protection & Knowledge: They will have at least the basic knowledge of their specific trade and know the laws and regulation to operate by. All contractors are listed in the CSLB website ( and can be easily reached or located online.
  • Injury Protection: Licensed contractors carry General Liability, are fully bonded and carry workers compensation for all their employees. 
  • Protecting Property Values: Many buildings, home and renovation projects require permits to do the work. An unlicensed contractor may not obtain these permits leaving the homeowner liable for any damages. Unpermitted work could impact the value of the property. If the work must be re-done the burden falls again on the homeowner.
  • Third Party Damages: If the neighbor’s house or other parties are damaged by the unlicensed contractor – liability falls under the homeowner. 
  • Safety: You want to make sure that you feel safe in your home. Licensed Contractors have their contact information registered with the state and online. 




In other words. 

By hiring an unlicensed contractor you accept RISK. 

You and your assets are unprotected, there isn't a written warranty, and you are hiring someone who is breaking the law.

Their bid might be much lower than those licensed contractors doing the same work. Although it might sound tempting to save money, hiring an unlicensed contractor may cost you more in the long run.

The law requires that to do job totaling $500 or more (labor and material combined) you must be “duly licensed’ as a contractor by the California State License Board and have a license bond.

If a homeowner hires an unlicensed contractor, then he/she becomes the employer (Labor law 2750.5) and therefore is responsible for any injuries or accidents that occur on their property. A bond protects homeowners if the company performs poor or sloppy work, doesn’t finish the project, or fails to pay suppliers.

An unlicensed contractor will charge less because they don’t pay any licensing fees, have no bond to protect their work.

Most unlicensed contractors do not have insurance (workers comp or general liability) and most do not pay taxes.

In conclusion, at Sunwest Painting we take pride in saying that we follow all the “Do’s and don’ts” from the California State License Board. We are fully licensed, bonded and insured. We offer our employees workers compensation and are highly recommended online by reviews on Google, Yelp, Angies List and Facebook. Next time you think of who to hire for your painting project, think of Sunwest Painting. We go by the book, offer competitive prices and will go above and beyond to protect you and your property.


Schedule an estimate with Sunwest Painting! 



  • Kristy

    Thanks to the wonderful manual

  • Xavier

    Thanks for the excellent manual

  • Mervin

    I spent a lot of time to locate something similar to this

  • Johny Jackson

    Appreciate this post. Will try it out.

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  • Mike M.

    I cannot, for the life of me, understand why anyone would hire ANY unlicensed home services contractor. There are so many website geared toward helping homeowners find quality, reliable help it’s ridiculous. Go to Thumbtack, Angie’s List, Home Advisor or ask neighbors at NextDoor.

    • sunwestpainting

      You’re right! Its best to go with a licensed contractor. Someone you could trust.

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