Chad Pfeffer is a licensed General Contractor in the Missouri and Kansas.
In this video Chad shares with homeowners why it is important to hire a general contractor and why being able to pull permits as a licensed contractor could save you potentially thousands of dollars when remodeling your home.
" I am now licensed all over Johnson County to build houses and pull all the permits. It's (being licensed) just a difficult test a lot of guys don't take. It's five weeks of studying. It requires you to carry all of the licenses and insurances. So now there's no fudging. You know, before you could kind of slip under the radar and not pay all the taxes, the licenses, the insurances. Being licensed kind of separates the guys who are just "kind of remodelers". Now people know that my business is more legit.
I can't and I'm not going to pack up and leave. People can call the county and find out about me. They can get my number. I am traced. I'm just being held to a higher standards. What a lot of those guys will do when they don't have a license, when they're not a general contractor, how they get around it is that they go to the homeowner and they have the homeowner for to pull the permit. Because the homeowner can pull a permit on their own home. And so now all of that falls back on the homeowner but then the contractor is doing the work. Not very professional. You know, when all of that responsibility should be put on the contractor. Because that is what the permit is for.
If a year down the road if there is something wrong with the house they can go back and they can see who pulled the permits on that work and they hold that company responsible. But if the contractor is having the homeowner do it and the permit is pulled under the homeowner and the contractor is gone, it's kind of just, it's not a very professional way doing it. So now if I'm going to go build a house- I just go build a house. I pull all the permits. Usually if someone wants a house built they're not going to pull permits. A room addition, they may, but a homeowner is not going to pull permits to build a house.
For me what it is going to do, is hopefully give me the opportunity to have bigger jobs open up. A lot of times if somebody is doing a smaller deck, patio kind of a thing, they'll pull those type, a homeowner would pull that permit for themselves. I want to let homeowners know, that I'm a licensed general contractor. I am somebody that will be pulling the permits. If a homeowner is being asked to pull permits, there's a reason why that contractor cannot pull that permit. They haven't taken the proper steps for some reason.
If a homeowner is asked to pull permits, that's a red flag.
If they have been doing it long enough, not fully committed, they don't want to pay. They don't want to be tracked. A lot of guys have different reasons for not fully committing to that. Because with that responsibility you have to charge enough. Some of these guys are just charging too little. You know they've got the tools in the truck, but by talking to you and watching you, I don't know if you've been doing this very long. But looking at him and looking at me, a homeowner is not going to be able to tell the difference. Sometimes, these things give a homeowner an obvious red flag before this guy gets in your house and just starts tearing things up.
I'm remodeling a hundred thousand dollars home right now in Liberty and everything we are fixing is because permits weren't pulled when this house was built and it is not breathing properly. The roof doesn't breathe properly. So it caused mold in the basement. It caused a bunch of dry rot on fourteen windows and they are about six-hundred dollars each. It caused settling in the stucco. So when people do room additions, this building needs to breathe the same as the roof over both of them. If it's not vented here and here properly, and the foundation is not done properly, you want them to function the same breathe the same. If they don't, you have cracks and breaks and mold, heat, mildew, air conditioning condensers over -working and burning out.
It takes just as much time to do it right as it does to do it wrong.
If somebody doesn't know what they're doing and is just slapping something on here and it looks fine, and it will look good for a year or two. And then in a couple of years, all your trims is cracking, your floors are cracking and at the end of the day, the homeowners is wondering "What's this?" But the inspector will know that. A lot of times guys who can't pull permits will try to talk homeowners out of pulling permits. And it happens a lot. "No we don't need to pull permits on it. It's not that important." How does a homeowner know it is not important? How does this guy know that it is not important? He probably doesn't know. He may not know.
I pull the permits, to take the responsibility off of me (our work is inspected and we know it will be done right) because I do care about the final project. So really, if you're doing it right, it's the same amount of work to do it right as it takes to do it wrong.By Catherine Kolkoski