Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 35 seconds
I have recently come across 3 guys that have quit employment to go out on their own to become handymen for their sphere of influence. I love entrepreneurship and I encourage everyone to give it a try. I can not thank them enough to take over the small jobs that my company is frankly not able to take care of because our niche is handling far more complicated and larger projects. Let’s face it YouTube and the Big Box stores have given rise to this new industry.
Where is the line?
When handymen cross the line is when they start screwing around with things that they are not allowed to on other peoples homes for compensation. A business card does not cost much and should not convey credibility or legitimacy. If things go south they do not have a pot to piss in.
- Heating and Air Conditioning
- Anything structural
Why you ask? Because they have no business and it is illegal for them to do the work of licensed contractors. Who bares the risk? Most have no insurance or State Registration and therefore should not be doing work over $2,000.00. A permit is required for structural work. Those without an RCE or RCT# are not allowed to pull permits. Homeowners can and so the savvy handyman might ask you to get a permit for them.
I run into examples of this all the time. One lady was quite upset with two guys she hired to add a light fixture in an area where there was not light before. She had no idea that they were breaking the law or that she was taking on the risk that the work was being done by people that had no business doing that work in the first place. Did they put her at risk of danger. HELL YES. This is why homeowners insurance was invented and the industry came from.
Are You Potentially Risking Your Life?
Yup, I recently found this improperly installed gas water heater. The duct work heads down. That means it is not working properly and the CO is coming out into the home. Sure it was an older home and likely leaky. A
t least the moron left his business card on the tank so the police and coroner could find him easily.
Flippers are the worst! There is no end to the crazy shit they do to disguise and deceive the new buyer. Once it is covered up even home inspectors have a hard time really being able to tell what the hell happened. When I am called to remodel a home that has been flipped I can assure the new owner that there will be illegal things done and to plan for us to have to fix them all over the place.
Who’s Job is it to Inform the Public?
I have no idea, possibly the insurance industry? Perhaps local government? Perhaps public safety. It is surely not me. Am I guilty of helping out a friend from time to time? Yes. Do I know what I am doing? Yes. Am I putting myself at risk? yea a little. Do I tell my homeowner what they have on the line? yes I do.
Where Does Guilt Catch Up with You?
The only time you the owner would have to lie is when you are asked during a fire or flood investigation if work was done by unlicensed actors or if any work was done without a permit. The other time is when you are selling and they ask the same thing. Is it worth the few bucks you save, I know you justify it by thinking that you were helping a fellow out starting up his business. You are NUTS and need to suggest they get legitimacy by getting registered and get some experience following the rules.
Your comments are welcome. To ask questions or get more information about fixing stuff, click here to email me directly, or call 208-639-1808
I do these things during non-Levco time to be sure it doesn’t interfere with the Remodeling business. Repairing things and understanding homes is just another passion of mine.
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