As they normally do, handymen usually know what to do, while you’re still figuring it out. They are that experienced. They know the physical work, they know the problem-solving skills, the ins and outs.
At that point of their relative expertise, they must also know one more thing: skilled work legal permissions.
There are many thin lines that can be encountered from here on. There is that thin line between what they can do and what they should only do. Cross the line and you’re up for possible job grabbing complaints from contractors and licensing bodies.
As customers, there are certain jobs that you cannot ask of your handyman because it may dwell outside of their legal limits.
There are jobs that a handyman need to acquire a license for. And in every state, the governing laws are different. In many states, there are house repairs or maintenance work that you don't need a license for but can still have limits on up to what extent.
If you failed to do this prior educational work, you may face unnecessary troubles. One would be that some insurance companies won't cover damage to a house if the damage is due to a work performed by a handyman who is not licensed to do that work. And if you’re trying to meet local code requirements for your house, such as when you’re trying to sell it, you’re in for a wallet ambush.
Let’s just hope you find that handyman who shows genuine care and professionalism. The right handyman for you will inform you of the boundaries of the services he can offer. The right one will be honest if a task is doable or feasible or legal, more than it is profitable.
Let’s tackle a grander extent.
#1 – Speaking of the thin line
It always is a versus (and always has been) between handymen and contractors.
Generally, handymen handle the quick fixes, those small to medium jobs which are not so complex, or under a certain cost. Contractors are a specialized unit. They often possess multiple permits and inspections. They handle the larger jobs such as major remodelling that affects a house’s structure or an adding of another livable space inside your home such as a kitchen extension.
#2 – Some line-drawing regulations
You may wants to check with your local regulations and criteria on the maximum project cost a handyman can charge before needing a license. The law is binding to the materials and labour involved. This is what’s called the “Handyman Exemption”. Again, this is different for every state. For some states such as in Texas, regardless of the job, a handyman license is required. Any job amounting to over $500 already needs licensing if you’re in California. This amount changes to $1000 in Ohio.
Sometimes too, the work is specified as to whether there is a needed license to perform the job. If the job is objectively casual or inconsequential, a handyman would be able to safely do the job. Conversely, it is good to note that many specialized jobs, such as electrical, plumbing and HVAC, are well outside the handyman scope. This is especially if bigger types of machinery, long time and multiple specialists are utilized to get the job done.
#3 – Just to be more legally compliant
It is important that you understand the licensing standards of your state, city, or town. Read on your State Contractors Board page, talk to a lawyer, consult your handyman and some other handymen. By knowing the exact licenses or permits, then you’ll deservingly qualify that mart Home Owner” badge. You can save yourself from trouble.
I know we’ve discussed that it does differ state to state or city to city, but we’ll still take on the more common jobs that can easily be assigned to a handyman. Just to give you a hint:
• Replacement of toilets, kitchen sinks, bath faucet, windows, etc
• Repair of a torn screen or a leaking pipe
• Hanging a ceiling fan, mounting a wall TV
• Repair of a wall (small section, not entire room)
• Cleaning a rain gutter
• Sanding down a burrow in a wood floor
The list is by no means complete nor is it the standard. It’s more of an overall idea.
Once more, the best source that can explain the legality of a handyman’s assignment is your local state law, should your home project require a permit.