In Washington, all general and specialty contractors must register with the state.
Any contracting company that hires subcontractors must register as a general contractor.
Depending on their scope of work, a painter can register as a General Contractor or a Specialty Contractor,
- A general contractor can handle large construction projects and hire subcontractors and specialty contractors.
- A specialty contractor can focus on a niche part of the construction project, for example, painting.
Where to get a painting license in Washington
The Department of Labor and Industry in Washington registers all contractors and subcontractors.
Here are the requirements for registration.
- Completed application.
- Proof of general business liability insurance.
- Proof of surety bond.
- Paid application fee.
- Register for the state worker’s compensation plan.
Contractors can start work when they receive their license after a successful registration.
What can happen if you work without a license?
Working without registration in Washington is a misdemeanor.
If your project costs more than $1,000, you must request a license from the contractor you hire.
What are the negative consequences of hiring an unlicensed contractor?
- They may not deliver as agreed. Licensed contractors risk losing their license if reported for unfinished jobs or overcharging. Always hire only licensed contractors for your painting jobs.
- Shoddy work. Licensed contractors have passed practical and written examinations to show their experience and competence.
- You will have to pay for any damage or accident during the job since unlicensed contractors do not have insurance. It will cost you more if an unlicensed contractor causes damage to your property.
- It may be hard to get your money back from an unlicensed out-of-state painter.
- It will affect the value of your property.
- It may void your home insurance.
Can I paint my own house without a license?
Yes. You do not need a license to paint your own home in Washington.
In many states, homeowners can paint both the exterior and interior of their homes without a license or permit.
Painting your home is an easy task. It is affordable since all you need is the paint and paintbrushes.
If you live in a listed house, you may need to get permission to change the exterior of your home.
Why hiring a professional painter is recommended
If you do not have the time or skills to paint, you can hire a contractor.
One of the benefits of hiring a professional painter is that you can expect the paint job to last at least ten years before you need to repaint your home. Make sure to use high-quality paint for the best results.
If you choose to hire a contractor, ensure that you hire a painter with a license to work in Washington. Seek referrals to hire a good painter.
Also, get at least three quotes before you hire. It helps you to find a painter who will work with your budget.
When you hire a contractor, the cost of painting your home is higher than if you DIY. Different painters charge different prices, hence the need to have three quotes to compare.
Lead paint disclosure Washington
A lead-based paint disclosure is a federal and Washington legal requirement when selling or renting property built before 1978.
Before selling a house, sellers must inform their prospective clients of lead-based paint. Additionally, sales contracts must include the lead paint disclosure.
Landlords must also include the disclosure in the rent leases.
Failure to make a lead disclosure exposes the seller or landlord to liability. You could be sued for damages if your buyers or tenants fall sick due to undeclared lead paint. You may also have to pay a $10,000 fine.
Lead is harmful to human beings. It gets into the body through breathing in or swallowing lead dust from chipped paint. It causes brain damage and nervous disorders in children under six years.
Ensure that the paint is not chipped or cracked, clean the walls regularly, and allow for proper air circulation in the house. Also, open the windows and clean the air ducts to prevent the likelihood of falling sick due to lead paint.
If you have a baby, have them checked twice before they get to 36 months for any lead paint side effects.