Working Without License?

 
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Old 01-21-2007, 04:59 PM   #1
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Working Without License?


Hey all, I live in California. It will be another year and a half until I am able to apply for my contracting license. The law over here is that all construction jobs over $500 must be done with a contracting license. Do I need liability insurance and all that stuff if I am just going to do little $200 plumbing jobs on the side? Are there any legal things that I must do before going out on my own to make some extra cash?

thanks,
J
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Old 01-21-2007, 05:03 PM   #2
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Re: Working Without License?


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Originally Posted by J87513 View Post
Do I need liability insurance and all that stuff if I am just going to do little $200 plumbing jobs on the side? Are there any legal things that I must do before going out on my own to make some extra cash?
I think a 200 dollar plumbing job has a equal likelihood of catestrophic flooding as a 10,000 plumbing job does. Get your insurance. It's a small price to pay.

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Old 01-21-2007, 05:56 PM   #3
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Re: Working Without License?


Does the state let you do plumbing without a license regardless of the contract amount? Would an insurance company insure you for a trade that requires a license?
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Old 01-21-2007, 06:55 PM   #4
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Re: Working Without License?


Yes there is a $500 limit on all construction work that isn't licensed.
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Old 01-21-2007, 07:52 PM   #5
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Re: Working Without License?


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Yes there is a $500 limit on all construction work that isn't licensed.
So the people who hang out in Home Depot's parking lot can re-wire and plumb a house for $500 and the state does not require them to have a license? I am not being a wiseass, I just find this hard to believe.
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Old 01-21-2007, 08:19 PM   #6
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Re: Working Without License?


umm, no. 500 is the limit with materials and labor. There are things that a "handyman" can do that do not require a permit to be pulled. If the state/city requires a permit to be pulled for a specific job, EVEN if the job would cost less than 500, only a contractor can do the job. Rewiring a house requires a permit. For water heaters as long as the original plumbing does not have to be altered or changed a permit is not required. Meaning a handyman can change the supply lines but not cut/sweat pipping.

I don't know all the different tasks that the city says a permit must be pulled off the top of my head, but the 500 limit is really only for minor home improvments. I thought it used to be 300 and they changed it to 500 in the last few years ago. It's pretty lame as I have never heard a handyman turn a job down because it was going to be over 500.
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Old 01-21-2007, 10:56 PM   #7
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Re: Working Without License?


No matter what you're doing, there is always that possibility that something can go wrong. It doesn't even have to be your fault... it just has to appear to be your fault to a lawyer!

Insurance is not expensive, if you think it costs too much, then you won't have the stomach to make it in business... The expenses get worse from there!

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Old 01-22-2007, 12:25 AM   #8
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Re: Working Without License?


My brother and I work in Alabama, started with odd jobs, mostly paining, the business is beginning to grow and the jobs are getting bigger and bigger. Concrete, minor elec, painting, etc. We sub out the things that we don't want to fool with.

Does anyone here know what type of license I need if any?

Thank you

Carl
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Old 01-22-2007, 12:43 PM   #9
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Re: Working Without License?


Carl:
The state of Alabama requires any general contractor working on a commercial or industrial project costing $50,000 or more to get a license. If you're the general contractor on a residential project that costs $10,000 or more, you need a license.
http://www.contractors-license.org/a...ma.html#genres
http://www.hblb.state.al.us/
http://www.hblb.state.al.us/becoming-licensed.html
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Old 01-22-2007, 12:51 PM   #10
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Re: Working Without License?


Tin, what part of Alabama? Northwest here ( Florence ). Lady at the license dept told me I have to have a license, comp, bond and ins in this town if I do any painting, or anything else. Above a certain amount required a contractor's license. Maybe this is just a local thing, not sure. One guy in another trade told me he was told he did not need a license if he stayed under a certain amount. Regardless, I would get the insurance if possible.
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Old 01-22-2007, 08:32 PM   #11
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Re: Working Without License?


you can't pull a plumbing permit I,m a long time lic holder in Ca.
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:27 PM   #12
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Re: Working Without License?


Well it is not really domestic copper plumbing that I do. I do all kinds of work with swimming pool systems, replace/install/despose filters, pumps and you name it if it has to do with work that is being done with swimming pool equipment. But do you all think I need insurance and liability to do little stuff like what I mentioned above, of course with it all being under the legal $500?
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:38 PM   #13
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Re: Working Without License?


Quote:
Originally Posted by J87513 View Post
Well it is not really domestic copper plumbing that I do. I do all kinds of work with swimming pool systems, replace/install/despose filters, pumps and you name it if it has to do with work that is being done with swimming pool equipment. But do you all think I need insurance and liability to do little stuff like what I mentioned above, of course with it all being under the legal $500?

Insurance, yes! I would not enter someone's property without a GL policy. If someone trips on your tool box, a kid cuts his finger on your razor knife, I could make a list a mile long.
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Old 01-22-2007, 10:00 PM   #14
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Re: Working Without License?


Quote:
Originally Posted by J87513 View Post
Well it is not really domestic copper plumbing that I do. I do all kinds of work with swimming pool systems, replace/install/despose filters, pumps and you name it if it has to do with work that is being done with swimming pool equipment. But do you all think I need insurance and liability to do little stuff like what I mentioned above, of course with it all being under the legal $500?
You can't get insurance or bonding(useless) without a license. You must be a contractor to get the insurance. No ins company is going to take you... or anyone else for that matter.
No company is going to give you liability if someone trips on your tool box or whatever. They will sue you. If you have a company, and it's a sole prop. They will sue you, and take whats in your name. I live not to far from you, and a while back I called all over the place and no one would touch it. After I got my license, everyone is your friend.....

If you know a lot about swimming pools, go for that license, no?
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Old 01-22-2007, 10:12 PM   #15
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Re: Working Without License?


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Originally Posted by J87513 View Post
It will be another year and a half until I am able to apply for my contracting license.
thanks,
J
Why does it take over 18 months to be eligible to apply for a license?

If I moved there, I could not work for 18 months? Can't apply right away? Or prior to residency?
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Old 01-22-2007, 10:36 PM   #16
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Re: Working Without License?


Well I know the CA license board has reciprocity stuff with NV, AZ, UT but I'm sure they can work something out if you show that you have evidence that you have the experience from Maryland.

But over here in California you need 4 full time years of on the field experience to qualify for a contracting license. There is only one exception, if you go to college and have a degree/substancial studies in math, physics, business or a few other subjects then you can get 2 years waved off from the intial 4.
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Old 01-22-2007, 10:39 PM   #17
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Re: Working Without License?


^You mean building swimming pools? I don't know about that since there are so many other people already doing that.^
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Old 01-23-2007, 06:27 AM   #18
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Re: Working Without License?


"You can't get insurance or bonding(useless) without a license. You must be a contractor to get the insurance. No ins company is going to take you... or anyone else for that matter."

I disagree, here in Utah proof of Insurance is required as part of your apllication for a contractors license.
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Old 01-23-2007, 08:45 AM   #19
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Re: Working Without License?


R C I'm originally from Mass. I can't ,in any way, compare cont. Lic. law
with the two states. As a gen . B lic. holder in Ca, I'm allowed to do all My own carpentry,plumbing,elec. ect. in Ca. 3 trades work on a project ,and you can pull all the permits. And I do !

Met a guy with the sign on His truck " unlicensed Handyman , with phone # ect. He was caught in a sting by the consumer affairs people !
This was His answer to stay out of trouble. He was in His 50 s ,and seemed to be an intelligent Man . I have no idea if this is legal. I do know it was a bad experiance for the guy. Good luck
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Old 01-23-2007, 08:46 AM   #20
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Re: Working Without License?


This happened to me recently...

I was doing a light renovation of a bathroom. While skim coating the wall I bumped the toilet supply line sticking out the wall. Five minutes later the HO came up to tell me water was all over her "Finished basement carpeted floor"
The problem...
original plumber installed the supply pipe too close to the inside wall. The last drywall guy drove a screw into the baseplate and right through the pipe. When I bumped the supply line while skimcoating it crumbled the rusted screw pluggiing the hole. And boy did the water flow.
I got lucky and the HO was a decent person. Think about how messy things could of gotten if they wern't nice people. And I have insurance.

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