California Handyman

California Handyman

Just a quick post to discuss being a California handyman.

There is no specific license for being a handyman, other than a business license in the city/county you reside in. A contractors license is only needed if your projects are $500.00 or more.

That per project amount is just that, per project/per client. You can’t split up a contract for one client over a period of time so that you’re only being paid $499.99 each time. If you do work for one client over the course of time, the total you were paid would determine if you should be licensed or not. For example, you worked on 10 projects for one client over the course of a year and they paid you $1500, you need a contractors license.

If you plan to apply for a B General Building license using your handyman experience, beware, the cslb’s opinion is that a California handyman (generally speaking) has little to no framing experience. Since structural framing requires a permit, and a license is required to get that permit, they believe you won’t have the necessary framing experience.

As I mentioned in another post, the cslb is considering the creation of a new license classification that does not have the framing component as a requirement of licensure. So those out there who are working as a handyman, you have a potential path to getting licensed and subsequently taking on bigger projects.

As a cslb expert, I’ve spent a great deal of time helping people to navigate the licensing process and to guide the California handyman down the path and through the red tape.

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New “Handyman License” issued by the Contractors State License Board!

That is what I would like to see on the CSLB’s web page. New Handyman License Issued!

Think about it, the current law permits “unlicensed contractors” the ability to perform jobs that are $500 or less for labor and materials.

By law, they have to advertise as “unlicensed contractors.” But, by law, they don’t have to have a written contract for the work they do.

Now the CSLB is asking these “unlicensed contractors” for copies of contracts when they apply for a contractor’s license, but the law does not require them to have contracts. That makes no sense, so let’s file this under “Things that make you go… Hmmmm.”

handyman license

 

My suggestion is that they institute a handyman license. This license will allow people the ability to do work at the current $500 limit (or, perhaps, they should increase it to $1000), and the experience will be more easily documented. The CSLB could require that they have a written contract, and when it comes time to apply for a full-fledged contractor’s license, they’ll have the documentation to prove their experience.

Here are the Pros:

  1. The CSLB could increase their revenues by collecting licensing fees, renewal fees, etc.
  2. The CSLB could possibly eliminate a lot of the unlicensed activity that they currently spend countless man hours and resources trying to eliminate.
  3. The CSLB would make it easier on the applicant to provide the necessary work experience when the handyman applies for a full license.
  4. The CSLB would make it easier on the application technicians who process these applications.
  5. The CSLB could require the handyman license to carry a, let’s say, $5,000 bond. This would protect consumers, which is the mandate of the CSLB after all.
  6. I’m sure there are more that I can’t think of at this moment.

Here are the Cons:

  1. I can’t think of a single con.

Who benefits?

  1. The CSLB
  2. The consumer
  3. The licensee
  4. The surety companies
  5. The CSLB Staff
  6. Those of us in the licensing industry!

handyman license

 

I realize this would take legislation to institute, and the CSLB would have to draft the legislation and get it sponsored by a legislator. So I have no delusions of this happening any time soon, especially when it makes a great deal of sense. But a handyman license would go a long way to fixing some of the issues that currently plague the construction industry.

 

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