SUHBA supports the Utah Department of Occupational Licensing (DOPL) and the National Association of State Contractors Licensing (NASCLA) testing of the system for weaknesses. We applaud the attention to verification of licensure that the “sting” brought to light publicly.
From time-to-time SUHBA receives calls to our office from contractors, potential consumers and, unfortunately, consumers who share sad stories of using contractors that they did not take the time to verify for current licensure. Using a licensed contractor is a “first step” in choosing your contractor. This step also applies to any contractor using a subcontractor. This is the first step, but certainly not the “last step” that should be taken to protect your pocket book. SUHBA also strongly recommends that consumers take the time to check references diligently “before” they engage any contractor in a remodeling project or building their home. A contractor’s history is a step that should never be overlooked.
SUHBA further applauds the action DOPL & NASCLA took to warn the public of the dangers of using unlicensed contractors. Verification should always be required whether it is a consumer needing repairs, a future homeowner determining who will build their new home or any trade or business association representing those professionals in their area; such as SUHBA.
As outlined in DOPL’s press release, there are a variety of examples of damage that consumers and even other professional contractors suffer when the “price” is the only option considered. Many consumers mistakenly believe they are saving dollars hiring a contractor without proper licensing and insurances; this is a concern SUHBA shares. It is important for anyone who engages a contractor to understand there are protections in place available to the consumer “if” and only “if,” they use a licensed contractor.
Fair business practices are also an important issue to our organization. When a business makes the commitment to be legally licensed, insured and professionally educated, they are making an investment in the product they will deliver. The legally licensed contractor cannot fairly compete for available work against those who are not making the investment that will protect their customer, deliver a better product and increase the satisfied experience of the entire project.
Members of the Southern Utah Home Builders Association (SUHBA), representing over 400 building industry professionals in Washington, Kane and San Juan counties of Utah, are required to be licensed in the State of Utah, and when joining agree to abide by SUHBA’s Code of Ethics.
SUHBA has always been committed to “requesting and verifying” that every member of SUHBA is legally licensed. The verification takes place during the application process, each year as part of the member’s renewal process and during spot checks randomly throughout the year. The bulk of our membership is located in Washington County. SUHBA also requires a current business license as part of the application process. For some who apply it is the first time they have ever been asked for a business license, and our Board of Directors will not approve until we have one on record.
SUHBA works with DOPL and DXATC to provide on-going continuing education to the contractors and other business professionals of Washington County. Courses are provided by SUHBA at a very low cost, and our members are able to apply for help with education through our SUHBA Scholarship Fund and Custom Fit reimbursements.
For more information on which contractors, suppliers and other business professionals belong to the Southern Utah Home Builders Association call 435.674.1400.