West Virginia licenses all contractors working in the state. Painters are considered contractors.
Contractors working on projects worth over $1,000 must obtain a license.
Contractors working on residential projects below $5,000 and commercial projects below $25,000 are exempt from licensing.
Where to get a painting license
You can get your license from the West Virginia Contractor Licensing Board.
To apply for licensing:
- Contact the board for classification and recommendation for exams you should sit. However, painters do not need to sit an exam.
- Complete license application.
- Get general business liability insurance.
- Get workers’ compensation insurance if you have employees.
- Get a surety bond.
What can happen if you work without a license?
Painters working without the proper licenses in West Virginia may face penalties such as:
- Fines between $200 and $1000 for the first offense. For subsequent offenses, you will pay up to $5,000 in fines.
- Criminal charges
- Jail time.
What are the negative consequences of hiring an unlicensed contractor?
- They may not deliver as per the agreement.
- Shoddy work. Licensed contractors must pass practical assessments and written examinations to show their competence.
- You will have to pay for any damage or accident since unlicensed contractors do not have insurance
- It may be hard to get your money back from an unlicensed out-of-state painter.
- It will affect the value of your property.
- Your insurer 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 West Virginia.
In many states, you can paint the exterior and interior of your without a license or permit.
Painting your home is easy and affordable since all you need is paint and paintbrushes.
Why hiring a professional painter is recommended
If you do not have the time or skills to paint 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, hire a painter a licensed painter. 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.
Lead paint disclosure West Virginia
A lead-based paint disclosure is a federal and West Virginia legal requirement for all buildings built before 1978.
Before selling a house, sellers must inform their prospective clients of the presence of lead-based paint.
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.