Why Should I Work with a Licensed or Registered Automatic Gate Contractor?--The Pitfalls of Working with an Unlicensed or Unregistered Contractor

Working with an Unlicensed or Unregistered Contractor

Liliana “Low Prices” sure makes a convincing case for her gate installation services. She says she can have your new automatic driveway gate up and running in a week, and says she can start tomorrow and can be in and out before you blink twice.

“Much Experience” Murad is quite busy and can only schedule your installation to begin two weeks from now. He also tells you that it will take 2 weeks to complete and then he’ll be out of your hair in two blinks of an eye.

Liliana sounds like the better option, particularly if you’re anxious to have your automatic security gate up and running in no time. But if Murad is licensed or registered in your state and Liliana isn’t, it’s better to get on Murad’s calendar and fill your wait time by catching up on what’s on your DVR.

Here’s why:

Recourse When Things Go Wrong

Imagine an unlicensed or unregistered contractor takes a 50% deposit on your $30,000 gate project. That’s a $15K check you’ve just written in good faith.

The contractor promises to start work when the rooster crows on Monday morning.

You've now had your morning coffee; your afternoon tea; your evening meal, and Mr. or Mrs. Unlicensed is nowhere to be found and has yet to return your calls.

Maybe you’re concerned at this point but not panicked. Three Mondays later, however, and concern has long since become panic that you’ll never see a dime of your $15K investment materialize as either an installed gate or a refund.

Truth be told, it’s quite possible for some licensed or registered gate contractors to behave in this unprofessional manner as well (although we hope it is a rarity). The difference with licensed and registered installers is that you can report misbehaving contractors to the regulating body in your state.

In most states, contractors must be bonded and you can file a claim to recoup your losses.

You have no such recourse with an unlicensed contractor.


One of Ubele Unlicensed’s workers bangs his truck into your garage, damaging it. An unlicensed contractor does not have the appropriate insurance to allow you to file a claim to recoup your losses.


Fentley Fly By Night set up his gate company yesterday, on a whim. He comes out to assess your automated gate needs and learns you want a double swing gate with reversing and hold open loops.

What you get instead is a single swing gate with no loops at all.

Contractors who can’t be bothered to get properly licensed aren’t likely to write up contracts. A written contract would protect you in this case. Without one, should our example above lead to a day in court, you’d be left to play a game of “he said, she said” that might not turn out in your favor.

A Wise Recommendation

We strongly recommend that you check the registration or licensing status of the automatic gate contractor you’ve selected. Conveniently, many of the registration/licensing bodies in most states allow you to check the registration or licensing status of a contractor online.

All of our business partners have already been vetted, so you can rest assured that if you choose one of our contractors, you are working with a professional in the field who has made bonding, insurance, and licensing/registration a priority.