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GC
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With the economy in the ****ter there is not much work as a General in my area. I get alot of referals for roof jobs and Paver driveways. Several years ago I planned on being a roofer but work seemed seasonal so I got my general B license. Now that things are slow I have been thinking of advertising but afraid I might get in trouble for advertising for only roofs as a general they want me to bid 2 or more trades on a job. One city told me I cannot pull a re-roof permit on a house I was rehabbing for a realtor even though I was doing more than 2 trades. Told me I could pull it if it was a remodel not re-roof. I sent in my paperwork and a check already and got confirmation they are reviewing my app to add roofing endorsement to my license.

Next week I am going to send in my paperwork for Masonry endorsement. My goal is to be licensed as a General, Mason, Roofer, Electrician and plumber. Will the state frown on giving me this many licenses or due I just have to pass the test? Experience is not a problem.
I would like to be able to perform any one of these trades without being prejudiced as just a General. I can out plumb my plumber do better electric than my electrician but people still second guess me as a General. I would like to be able to pull out each license and show I have passed each test to make me as credible as a "Electrician" or "Plumber".


Any down sides to having multiple licenses besides the yearly fees for each one?
 

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Registered
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I maintain multiple GC liscenses for different counties in my area, as far as the municipalities frowning on multiple liscenses, i think they mostly care about collecting fees. G
 

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Curmudgeon
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I maintain multiple GC liscenses for different counties in my area, as far as the municipalities frowning on multiple liscenses, i think they mostly care about collecting fees. G
And making you jump through slightly
different hoops than the neighboring
city, township, county,burg..........
 

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With the economy in the ****ter there is not much work as a General in my area. I get alot of referals for roof jobs and Paver driveways. Several years ago I planned on being a roofer but work seemed seasonal so I got my general B license. Now that things are slow I have been thinking of advertising but afraid I might get in trouble for advertising for only roofs as a general they want me to bid 2 or more trades on a job. One city told me I cannot pull a re-roof permit on a house I was rehabbing for a realtor even though I was doing more than 2 trades. Told me I could pull it if it was a remodel not re-roof. I sent in my paperwork and a check already and got confirmation they are reviewing my app to add roofing endorsement to my license.

Next week I am going to send in my paperwork for Masonry endorsement. My goal is to be licensed as a General, Mason, Roofer, Electrician and plumber. Will the state frown on giving me this many licenses or due I just have to pass the test? Experience is not a problem.
I would like to be able to perform any one of these trades without being prejudiced as just a General. I can out plumb my plumber do better electric than my electrician but people still second guess me as a General. I would like to be able to pull out each license and show I have passed each test to make me as credible as a "Electrician" or "Plumber".


Any down sides to having multiple licenses besides the yearly fees for each one?

Sounds like you need to find a better plumber and electrician.

Or lose your over inflated ego. :whistling
 

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GC
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190 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sounds like you need to find a better plumber and electrician.

Or lose your over inflated ego. :whistling

Only reason I learned these trades is because I could not find a good and RELIABLE Sub to do it for me. I know a ton of plumbers that are not worth a crap. The few good ones I know are good at only service they have never done much new construction. As far as electricians go I have 1 guy who Is the **** but lives in OC and he is top dollar. $28k+ to wire a basic 3 bedroom 2 bath house new construction basic fixtures. My cost is closer to $12k doing it myself.

Has nothing to do with Ego as I prefer to do no work and get paid. Has to do with economy and being able to be competitive on pricing. Good honest reliable subs are hard to find in these parts. Bunch of crooks making us legit contractors look bad.

3 years ago I thought I would never have to physically work on a project again. Last week I put in more physical hours than my workers trying to get ahead on payments.
 

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BuckleyBuilt
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As a construction manager for a developer years ago, I ran into guys from time to time that had both "B" as well as "C" licenses. Many of whom focused only on working with their specialty licenses. I found them to be the most reliable, best-performing subs, on the whole.
Keep us informed. I am interested in knowing how it works out for you.
 

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EVIL GENIUS
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2,546 Posts
I have my Builders license, electrical apprentice, welders certification, auto mechanics certification. I also have a all species fish license, combo deer, and drivers license.


I have no idea how it is where you are but in michigan you cant get you electrical, plumbing, or HVAC license. You have to have so many hours under someone with a masters license in that trade. I have a electrical apprentice, after so many hours I can take the exam and if I pass then get my journeymans license, then so many hours after that take the exam for a masters license. In michigan its the same for plumbing and HVAC also.
 

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GC
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190 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have my Builders license, electrical apprentice, welders certification, auto mechanics certification. I also have a all species fish license, combo deer, and drivers license.


I have no idea how it is where you are but in michigan you cant get you electrical, plumbing, or HVAC license. You have to have so many hours under someone with a masters license in that trade. I have a electrical apprentice, after so many hours I can take the exam and if I pass then get my journeymans license, then so many hours after that take the exam for a masters license. In michigan its the same for plumbing and HVAC also.
Here in CA you need similar requirements. I have plenty of experience and have worked with many. All I need to do is pay fees and pass the tests. Here I have not heard of a Journeymen license. Here you need to be a foremen or supervisor for 4 years. I already have my General license and just need to take individual trade specific tests. My main reason for this question as I was wondering if others on here run more than one specialty trade business. I plan on being a General and having a Masonry division and roofing division as that is majority of referral jobs lately since economy is slow and not much new construction.
 

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EVIL GENIUS
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Here in CA you need similar requirements. I have plenty of experience and have worked with many. All I need to do is pay fees and pass the tests. Here I have not heard of a Journeymen license. Here you need to be a foremen or supervisor for 4 years. I already have my General license and just need to take individual trade specific tests. My main reason for this question as I was wondering if others on here run more than one specialty trade business. I plan on being a General and having a Masonry division and roofing division as that is majority of referral jobs lately since economy is slow and not much new construction.

Here with the full builders license you can do anything except electrical, plumbing and HVAC. You can do drain lines and septic with a builders license.

To get the license like a electrical all your hours have to be documented and its a big pain in the butt.
 

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Thom
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I have them all, GC, EC, MC. Back when we did commercial remodel, oftentimes it just wouldn't work to use subs for specific items. Something would come up or break that needed to be taken care of immediately. For the significant work, I used subs but in an emergency I had the qualified guys and the licenses to take care of the problems. Most, but not all of the time, we did the electrical work in-house. I always considered that "my trade".

When I went to building spec houses exclusively, I hired all subs except for electric. I did that work, either by myself or with my own guy, everything else was subbed.

Typically you see the carpentry trades becoming GC's but there is really no reason for that being the case. Managing a project is not a skill specific to the carpentry trades. There are many guys with the talent to learn and do more than a single trade.
 

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EVIL GENIUS
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In michigan anyone can get a contractors license for any trade but only someone with a masters license can do the work or people working under the master. When you pull a permit they want the license # of the master who is doing the work.
 

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Here in CA you need similar requirements. I have plenty of experience and have worked with many. All I need to do is pay fees and pass the tests. Here I have not heard of a Journeymen license. Here you need to be a foremen or supervisor for 4 years. I already have my General license and just need to take individual trade specific tests. My main reason for this question as I was wondering if others on here run more than one specialty trade business. I plan on being a General and having a Masonry division and roofing division as that is majority of referral jobs lately since economy is slow and not much new construction.
I looked at the California CSLB site as I'm guessing you're from Torrance, California. It appears as though it will be tough for you to prove qualification as a Journeyman, a prerequisite for taking the C-10 exam, since according to the CSLB you've done other types of work in the last 4 years. Also, I don't see any residential specialty licensing, so I'm guessing you'd better be pretty knowledgeable in three phase systems, formulas and calculations, motors and controls, fire and burglar alarm systems, hazardous locations, etc. There is much more to electrical contracting than Romex and most states expect the applicants to be knowledgeable of all electrical systems. I have active electrical contractor licenses in Florida, Georgia and Virginia and inactive in Maryland and West Virginia and all have stringent requirements to qualify for the EC exam.

In Florida, you must have taken and passed a Journeyman exam and have 4 more years of experience as a licensed Journeyman to qualify for the exam, so your application would be denied and you'd lose your application fee. Our test barely had any residential questions at all, if any as I remember. Florida does have a "Residential" specialty license, but you still have to be a licensed Journeyman to qualify for the exam. All Journeyman licenses require 4 years of documented work experience under a Master Electrician. Keep us posted on your application status. I'd like to know how it turns out. Good luck to you.
 

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Here I have not heard of a Journeymen license. Here you need to be a foremen or supervisor for 4 years.
Were you a Foreman or Supervisor for an Electrical Contractor or were you performing electrical work as a GC??? Just wondering. To answer your original question, personally I'm impressed by someone that has mastered multiple trades and I would think it would not be a hinderance or have negative impacts at all. Although, I am a little skeptical and won't typically bid to GCs that also are licensed and practicing ECs. If you don't plan to subcontract the electrical anymore, then that wouldn't be a problem for you anyway.
 

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GC
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I looked at the California CSLB site as I'm guessing you're from Torrance, California. It appears as though it will be tough for you to prove qualification as a Journeyman, a prerequisite for taking the C-10 exam, since according to the CSLB you've done other types of work in the last 4 years. Also, I don't see any residential specialty licensing, so I'm guessing you'd better be pretty knowledgeable in three phase systems, formulas and calculations, motors and controls, fire and burglar alarm systems, hazardous locations, etc. There is much more to electrical contracting than Romex and most states expect the applicants to be knowledgeable of all electrical systems. I have active electrical contractor licenses in Florida, Georgia and Virginia and inactive in Maryland and West Virginia and all have stringent requirements to qualify for the EC exam.

In Florida, you must have taken and passed a Journeyman exam and have 4 more years of experience as a licensed Journeyman to qualify for the exam, so your application would be denied and you'd lose your application fee. Our test barely had any residential questions at all, if any as I remember. Florida does have a "Residential" specialty license, but you still have to be a licensed Journeyman to qualify for the exam. All Journeyman licenses require 4 years of documented work experience under a Master Electrician. Keep us posted on your application status. I'd like to know how it turns out. Good luck to you.

I am from Torrance. You are right about the commercial part as I am not that knowledgable at it as I have always done residential.The 3 phase and commercial math will probably kill me. I have not filled out forms for electric yet I am waiting for my roof test currently. In CA you can fill out a homeowner builder form for experience or have it signed off by a Contractor. The contractor I worked for and was also partners on other properties signed me off for my general. I wired my first house 12 years ago and have not subbed out electric since. Every remodel or ground up I have done I do all the Electric. Looks like I will have to contact an old friend I know That does all commercial and volunteer my time to get insight on commercial aspect although I would never bid commercial. I dont plan on doing any just electric portion of a job but to have license to show I can.
 

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GC
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Were you a Foreman or Supervisor for an Electrical Contractor or were you performing electrical work as a GC??? Just wondering. To answer your original question, personally I'm impressed by someone that has mastered multiple trades and I would think it would not be a hinderance or have negative impacts at all. Although, I am a little skeptical and won't typically bid to GCs that also are licensed and practicing ECs. If you don't plan to subcontract the electrical anymore, then that wouldn't be a problem for you anyway.

I was partners with a GC and my dad on many flip projects and new construction spec houses. After subbing out electric and all other trades and being the on site super watching everything I decided to learn. My job was to sit at job site and make sure everyone showed up and things got done. I was 16 and making $15 an hour. Once I saw what my dad was paying subs I told him to let me do it. By the time I was 20 I bought my first fixer upper in my name as partners with my Dad. I only subbed out the foundation and framing and did the rest myself. When I first started I will admit I was definitely learning I would drive other subs crazy asking them a million questions. It got to the point each house we did I would eliminate a sub and do it myself. I figured every sub I eliminated it was another 5k we saved and would eventuaaly be profit.


Now its to the point where I own every tool for almost every trade to build a house from ground up. We planned on being big time builders until my Dad ventured into another business as a funding partner. Other partner embezzled all his money and he pretty much lost everything. We were sitting on 6 R2 and R3 lots with blue prints ready to do 16 houses on one block. We already completed 6 in same area and were set to make it big. This was 3 years ago and since economy tanked and I went out got my General license and now I am on my own. I have been depressed cause work has slowed and feel my Dad screwed me but am thankful for what I have learned. I have so much construction related stuff I cant walk away. So I decided to make it a goal to get all these licenses to show customers I am fully capable of doing almost every aspect if need be. I figure I am either going to get rich on my own or go broke trying to go big.
 

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Wow
we don't really have any licensing at all here .
I think up to last year we could even do electric our selves .
We just bang out a hole job .
I do use a electrician and i cant mess with any freon .
or install a new septic system. but other then that any thing gos .
I applied for some kind of licence in NJ a few weeks ago because i have to build a nice addition there next month , but there is no test . I live 10 min from NJ but i only like to work 5 mins from the house.
Hay nick you should move to NY all you need to be a roofer here is a pick up truck and a dog . I think some licencing would be good for me, it mite keep the brown fells out.
 

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As far as being better than my plumber and electrician I would have to say that I am not. However, working on smaller projects such as basement finishing and room additions I am able to a better job. If you do not have a set of blueprints to work off, It can be very difficult to know what you need to be doing. Most basement finishes we work, It is not practical to make a detailed set of plans due to the amount of changes that occur.

When my electrician wires a basement, I am always nervous that we will have some type of problem come finish. Just last week, we were ready for drywall to go up. At the last minute I realized we did not have any can lights in one of the bedrooms. We also had some issues with outlet placement around the wet bar. They do great work, but sometimes certain parts are it is easier just to do it yourself.
 

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A general contractor needs to know quite a bit about every trade involved. It seems to me that you have the background for this and it would be one way for you to go.

But you have not served an apprenticship in any trade, so getting a licence in a trade will probably be dificult. There are good reasons why it's required to serve usually a four year apprenticeship. There's a lot to learn in each trade.

There are lots of guys with some knowledge in many trades, we call them "jack of all trades", master of none. These guys generaly do handyman type work.

If I were you I would focus on being a GC. Hire professionals to do the work, and build a reputable business. In a sence, use the knowledge you have already gained to it's best use. Or you could enter an apprenticeship program for a trade. You may be able to get credited for some time already in.

Best of luck.
 
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