Hiring a catch-all handyperson may save you time and money when fixes around the house continue to pile up, such as mending a leaky sink or patching that hole in the drywall. However, a handyperson may lack the necessary licensing to undertake some projects, so it’s critical to understand when hiring a contractor is the better alternative.
Herein lies the crux of the matter. Do you employ a plumber or a handyperson? First, let us state that a handyperson performs necessary services that may benefit both households and companies. However, like with any trade or service, consumer protection regulations are in place. When you choose a professional contractor, you are hiring someone who is verifiably licensed, bonded, and insured if something goes wrong. Unlike a handyman, you can check any licensed contractor’s details with the California State License Board (CSLB).
What’s Required To Become A C-36 Plumbing Contractor
To operate as a plumber in California, you must possess a state contractor license. The C-36 Plumbing Contractor license gets issued by the Contractors State License Board of the Department of Consumer Affairs (CSLB). Any job valued at $500 or more requires a license. That means four years of experience as a journeyman, foreman, supervisory employee, or owner-builder is necessary. A $15,000 bond is also required. You’ll also need to pass a law and business test, in addition to a trade exam. A hazardous material removal certification may also be required to install and remove underground tanks or other hazardous substance removal procedures. Again, this will necessitate passing a test.
A journeyman requires three years of apprenticeship training. Additionally, they must pass a contractor licensing test to become a licensed plumbing contractor. If a plumber is a sole proprietor, they must become bonded, and all employees must get covered by workman compensation insurance. Furthermore, they have to pass a contractor’s exam to become a licensed contractor. Finally, if a plumbing contractor is a business owner, they’re required to be bonded, insured in addition to workman compensation insurance for all employees.
What Is A Handy Man Or A Handy Person?
With that said, California is an excellent state to be a handyman. A handyman, sometimes referred to as a fixer, handyperson, or handy worker, is competent in various tasks, generally around the house. These duties involve trade skills, household repair services, and interior and exterior upkeep. It may also involve landscaping in some instances. This sort of work may get referred to as side work, odd jobs, or repair work. These chores may include fixing drywall, hanging a door, repairing toilets, repairing appliances, installing ceiling fans, or hanging a TV along with hundreds of other minor repairs. It’s not surprising that a handyman meets a need for home and business owners. Unfortunately, in California, they DO NOT have the same rights as a plumbing contractor, and rightfully so.
California does not require a handyperson license. As a result, the phrase “handyperson” may refer to an unlicensed worker who does domestic repairs. While a handyman is not a regulated tradesperson, they are typically not insured or bonded. Additionally, consumers who engage in an agreement with an unlicensed individual may not have much recourse should something go wrong.
SWIFT Is Catching Violators
A handyperson must adhere to the $500 legal construction limit. In addition, a person promoting a handyman company must disclose that they’re a licensed plumbing contractor. If you promote minor plumbing, electrical, and drywall work without disclosing to the public that you are not licensed, you face the danger of being cited by law authorities. In February 2016, law enforcement conducted an undercover operation targeting unlicensed contractors. Seventeen individuals who bid on jobs received citations. Twelve of the seventeen got cited for deceptive advertising. However, California does not overlook violators. SWIFT (Statewide Investigative Fraud Team) was established to investigate and prosecute unregistered contractors.
The $500 cap is subject to various exceptions. The exemption is the “sale or installation of completed items that do not become permanently attached to the structure.” So, for instance, hanging pictures, building shelves, and constructing furniture is acceptable as long as they are not permanently attached to the structure.