Not sure what the difference is between a contractor and a handyman? There are a few major differences between the two.
By law, you are supposed to use a licensed contractor for all jobs. A contractor is licensed and insured; he or she can hire subcontractors, and, most importantly, can pull permits.
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A handyman may have the same skill sets, but these workers are not recognized by the law as licensed contractors. In other words, they cannot pull permits or legally work on jobs where they earn $500.00 or more for their services. Here’s the legal interpretation and how industry people view the differences.
Rule 1. An unlicensed contractor or handyman cannot earn more than $500 dollars for any given project. If that person does, then they must have a valid contractor’s license.
Rule 2. If anyone employs others, they must have Workman’s Compensation or liability insurance. For example, what if an employee falls and hurts themselves on the job or your home is damaged for some bizarre reason? You may have no other recourse but to sue the unlicensed contractor for fear of being sued by the hurt employee. If the contractor has no insurance, that’s obviously a red flag.
Rule 3. Licensed contractors in the state of California must guarantee their work for up to one year. If they don’t, the License Board can hit them with financial penalties and even take their license away.
Photo Credit: Clearly Ambiguous
If you want to check on the status of any contractor, you can go to this website http://www.cslb.ca.gov and find out if they are currently licensed in the state of California.
CalFinder-certified contractors are fully licensed and insured. Contact us for free, no obligation estimates anytime!