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Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,333
Likes: 7
The 'work with no permit' situation here is $2000.00.

I had three (3) within the last 2 weeks, one commercial, 2 residential.

Niko, I have to ask you, what are the consequences in your area for work without permits?

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Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 931
Likes: 1
The "handyman" is also contracting w/o a lic. since the CSLB defines a job over $500.00 as needing a lic. & breaking it down to a whole bunch of 500 dollar jobs (labor & materials) does not pass the test, per the Contractors State License Board (CSLB).

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,273
Campbell is in Silicon Valley....

i.e. THERE IS NO WAY that this clown is getting his 1200sf for less than $500.00...

Which means he needs a permit.

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 356
Niko Offline OP
John, i don't know what the fine is for unpermited work. as NORCAL mentioned the CSLB (contractor state license board) does limit what the handyman can charge without a license.

Starting Jan. 1, those caught contracting in California without a license for the first time will face six months in jail or a fine of up to $5,000 because of a new law that will take affect. Right now the offense is only considered a misdemeanor with no set jail time or penalties.

Be kind to your neighbor, he knows where you live

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,432
Likes: 3
Originally Posted by Niko

Starting Jan. 1, those caught contracting in California without a license for the first time will face six months in jail or a fine of up to $5,000 because of a new law that will take effect.

Well, that is a step in the right direction. clap

Listen guys,
At the end of the day, there is no way that a qualified and licenced electrician should have to compete with Handy Harry, just because he knows a little bit about electrical work.
I'm pretty sure I didn't do my time and pass exams to be under-cut by some clown that thinks they can do this sort of work.
If they were any good at it, they would have passed the exam to get qualified and they would be pulling a permit on their jobs.
This sort of thing really winds me up, the playing field isn't level until you have everyone walking the same walk.

Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 265
I agree Mike, in my hometown we have to pull electrical permits whenever the POCO is involved, meaning new work/ service upgrade etc. Problem is politics comes to play, we got a new inspector a few years ago( small town we only have one) and he was ready to get everybody in line. Was told by the mayor after his first case of no license " that guy has been doing his own work for years, now back off and let him make a living" The guy is a general contractor, and his own work consists of wiring everything he builds with little or no reguard for the code. I guess it is all about who you know.


Life is tough, Life is tougher when you are stupid
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,370
Likes: 1
Cat Servant
It's quite simple, the content of what you need to say ... the hard part is minding your manners as you do so, and making the sale.

The short form is: My price is my price, I really don't care what anyone else has to say about it, and if you can get it cheaper elsewhere - do it!

Yet, this is an opportunity for you to stress your experience and qualifications; to explain what all is involved (it's never just 'running some wire!'). As I've suggested before here, look to HGTV shows like "Holmes on Homes" and "Tough as Nails" to see some master salesmanship at work.

Finally, if the situation is turning ugly, this is an opportunity to 'discover something you overlooked' and RAISE your price - to cover the agrivation factor.

"You can always count on Reno to offer some brothel tested advice" laugh

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 35
personally, i would report the handyman to the authorities. too many of these clown's playing electrician. i went through the same thing year's ago and got out partly because of it. and don't miss it. i still see handyman (i know how to wire job's)and they are a mess to clean up afterward's.

Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 613
43% of contractors at or below the break even point in their pricing. Some are good trades people but all are bad businessmen. You need to have a good business plan that includes a retirement strategy and remuneration that makes working for yourself a good deal. I know too many contractors that work for less than they earned working for someone else. If your prices are reflective of that plan then you gave the right price. The race to the lowest price is a race to poverty not independance and a comfortable retirement.
I have never seen an industry like the electrical trade where highly skilled and inteligent people constantly try to undercut themselves like we do. Very few electrical contractors work at selling more but most work to take the wire out of a house. Buy cheaper fixtures or lower quality outlets.
I once read of an electrical contractor that charged 275.00 an hour and had a personal income over 300k per year. He lost 75% of his customers and probably 80% of his headaches. He will have a very nice retirement and a few but happy customers. He is a good business man but he was not an electrician. He hired those.
The secret is get confident in your pricing and check it against your goals then stick to it.

A house can be minimally wired at 1 price and fully wired for all the contingencies and bells and whistles for 3 times as much. Which job is more likely to earn you a buck?

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,788
Likes: 14
I blame the consumer for some of that. For some reason the whole country has gone on a WalMart binge where a good price is better than good quality. I do think it is worth trying to explain why a quality product costs more because it is worth more.

Greg Fretwell
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