Why Licensing Isn’t Required in Texas and How to Protect Your Home

june 8th, 2020 updated 7:00PM CT

Did you know that not all states require roofing contractors to have licensing? In fact, out of the 50 states in the US, only 21 of them require roofers to have licensing. Where does Texas fall? Texas does not require that roofing contractors are licensed.

Why aren’t contractors required to have licensing in Texas?

With less regulations in Texas, new roofers have more opportunity to jump into the business. They also have more opportunity to build their skills. This is because in some states only a limited number of people can obtain their licensing. When this is the case, monopolies happen. When contractors aren’t required to have licenses, monopolies can be avoided and it opens up the avenue for more people to work.

Are there any cities in Texas that do require licensing?

Yes. Though many cities in Texas don’t require roofing contractors to have licensing, others do. Among these are some of the larger cities like Austin and San Antonio. In San Antonio, for example, anyone who provides basic repairs as a contractor must have a background check completed, fill out an application, and pay a fee.

The Problem with a Lack of Licensing:

The problem with lack of licensing regulations is that anyone can become a contractor. And while there are a lot of great unlicensed contractors, this also opens the door up for a lot of shoddy workmanship. Without licensing, someone who isn’t qualified to install roof shingles or metal roofing can install it. Poor workmanship can be the result.

In addition, lack of licensing can open the door to scams. Someone can claim to be a “contractor”, get paid to do the work, and then take off with a customer’s money. Sadly, this happens more often than we’d like to admit.

Can you get a License in Texas?

Yes. Just because licensing isn’t required doesn’t mean it isn’t optional. And there are many benefits that come along with proper licensing. First off, when a roofing contractor is licensed, it means that they have undergone a certain amount of education and training in order to receive that licensing. Anyone who has their license must pass an exam first to demonstrate their skills and knowledge. This gives customers confidence that their contractor is experienced in the field and can do a good job on their roof.

Licensing also adds legitimacy to a business. When roofing companies  are properly licensed, customers can feel assured that the business is real and that they aren’t going to be scammed. It also shows that companies and contractors are willing to go the extra mile to improve their business and make their clientele feel comfortable and secure.

Why you should avoid unlicensed contractors:

There is only one benefit of hiring an unlicensed contractor – it will save you money upfront. Why? Because unlicensed contractors generally cost less to hire than licensed ones. But trying to cut costs can actually end up costing you more in the long run. Here are some things to think about before you decide to hire an unlicensed contractor:

They are unlicensed for a reason: Before hiring an unlicensed contractor, ask yourself, why are they unlicensed? Is it because they don’t have the proper educational background to obtain their license? Is it because they don’t have the skills or experience to obtain their license? Is it because they failed their licensing exam? Licensing is always a beneficial thing for a contractor to have, so if a roofing contractor is not licensed, there’s usually a reason for it. Hiring them could lead to an inferior job.

It could end up costing you more in the long run: Yes, hiring an unlicensed roofing contractor will save you money upfront but in the long run it could end up costing you more. If the contractor doesn’t do a good job on your roof, it isn’t going to last you as long as it should. You may end up with significant repair bills or may even end up having to replace your roof long before you should have to. It’s better to just have your roof system installed properly the first time by a licensing contractor who knows what they are doing.

No License. No Insurance. If your roofing contractor doesn’t go out of their way to obtain their license, there’s a good chance that they don’t have insurance either. Insurance is extremely important for any contractor to have because it protects them financially if anyone should ever be injured on the job or if any of their client’s property is damaged. But if a contractor doesn’t have insurance, the risk doesn’t fall on them – it falls on the property owner. That’s right – if you hire someone who is unlicensed to do your roofing San Antonio, you could be held liable in the event of damage, accident, or injury.

No Extended Warranties. Many roofing manufacturers offer certification to roofers to state that they are properly trained in the installation of their products. As a benefit offered to those certified, extended warranties are usually offered. But roofing contractors that won’t obtain their licensing probably haven’t gone out of their way to obtain certification either, which means that you won’t have the benefit of these extended warranties.

You could be held liable. Think about this scenario. You hire a contractor to install your roof. That contractor now hires several subcontractors to help in order to get the job done faster and more efficiently. What happens if that contractor does not end up paying their workers? Well, now the duty to pay those workers falls on you and you could be held liable.

Other Things You Should Know about Texas Roofing Requirement

Just as the state of Texas does not require contractors to have licensing, it also doesn’t require them to have general liability insurance. But if you are hiring a roofing contractor, this is something that you will want to make sure they have. This policy is what will protect a contractor, as well as their clientele in the case of accident, injury, or damage.

This is another benefit of hiring a licensed contractor. In order for a roofing contractor to obtain licensing, they must first be able to show proof of insurance. Any residential contractors must hold a policy of at least $300,000 and any commercial contractors must hold a minimum of $500,000. 

In conclusion, contractors in Texas do not have to legally have licensing to work on your roof. With that being said, hiring a licensed contractor is the only way to protect your home. Not only does licensing ensure that a contractor holds proper insurance and has the experience necessary to do the job right, but it can also give you the confidence that you are not being scammed. When hiring a roofing contractor, don’t hire someone who won’t go the extra mile to make you feel secure – look for a contractor that is fully licensed and insured.

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