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You are getting ready to complete a home project and you are trying to figure out if you should hire a licensed contractor or complete the work as a do-it-yourself (DIY) project.
Here are some things to consider:
In Denver, a homeowner may obtain a residential construction permit (#1R) or roofing/siding permit (#2) for his/her own home without taking a homeowner's exam. In order to perform all other types of building and construction work on your own home, you must satisfy a set of requirements:
Pass the homeowner’s exam demonstrating proficiency in specific building trades:
Home Ownership Verification
You must be listed on the Assessor’s website as the property owner or provide the Deed listing you as an owner of the property. No other forms of ownership will be accepted.
Copies of your deed may be available from the Denver Clerk and Recorder for a small fee.
In order to obtain construction or building permits, you may need to submit plans to Development Services for review.
It may appear that doing the work yourself is cheaper than hiring a contractor. There are, however, certain risks involved.
If your property or your neighbor’s property is damaged over the course of the do it yourself project and you have to replace property, the responsibility for repair and replacement is yours. If you use a licensed and insured contractor, the contractor’s insurance would cover any liability.
Most projects requiring permits will also require inspections to insure that the construction meets Denver building code. A licensed contractor is responsible for completing the project according to code. As a homeowner completing the project yourself, you could incur additional costs if portions of your project had to be redone in order tto meet the build code.
Typically, contractors provide a one year warranty on material and labor.
If you decide to hire a contractor, here are some tips to follow:
After selecting your contractor, get a written contract detailing the work to be performed, the costs associated with each task, a timeframe with estimated start and end finish dates and protection against liens from subcontractors. In addition the contract should include: