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Handymen #67980 07/26/06 01:38 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,262
Trumpy Offline OP
After having spoken to not only a few people in NZ here, but a few people in the US, why are Handymen allowed to do the work of an Electrician, without having served the time that we did?.
What we seem to have here, is an under-class of incompetent workers, that profess to be what they are not.
If you are not good enough to be an employee or an owner of an electrical company, stay away and let the men do the work.
This sort of culture, is bringing down everyone in respect to prices and the quality of work as well, as these people are being seen as Electricians.
Your thoughts?.

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: Handymen #67981 07/26/06 02:21 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
iwire Offline
The US does not have nation wide electrical licensing.

Licensing is left up to the local governments and many areas still have no licensing requirements.

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Re: Handymen #67982 07/26/06 02:46 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 265
Sixer Offline
We're lucky here. Our inspector backs us up by stopping any further work on jobs when
unqualified workers either get caught or turned in for doing wiring. If they don't comply, he will (and has done many times) order a disconnect of the power until a certified contractor takes responsibility for it.

The public needs more education as to who can or cannot legally do wiring and how to check their qualifications. Unfortunately there are far too many people who will intentionally sacrifice safety in order to save a buck. There are just as many others who will, out of ignorance, hire someone who has deceptively advertised their credentials.


"Will it be cheaper if I drill the holes for you?"
Re: Handymen #67983 07/26/06 03:04 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,262
Trumpy Offline OP
Randy (Sixer), while I agree with you about informing the public and their need to check the qualifications of people working in their house.
People want the cheapest job as they can get, and if the Handyman says that their work is safe, they like that, who really cares if the house is on fire in a day or two?, the Handyman has made his money.
No wonder legitimate trades-people can't make a living.
They have some sort of a guarantee(sp?) on their work, try and find your Handyman. [Linked Image]

Re: Handymen #67984 07/26/06 07:07 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,213
SteveFehr Offline
We've got a lot of "Handymen" around here. I'm sure there are quite a few who are excellent at what they do, but for the most part, they seem to be unemployed low-skill people who pimp themselves out for any odd job they can get to unfortunate souls that don't know any better. No permits, no inspections, inexpensive and shoddy work.

I'm pretty sure there were quite a few who helped the previous owner remodel my house. The saddest thing is, they're proud of it! I've had guys stop by to say hi (fishing for work, I think) and proudly announce they did X or Y on my house, despite X and Y clearly being done incompetantly- and these are the supposed "professionals". At least the power was done right- the previous owner was a liscensed electrician and electrical inspector.

I live in Chesapeake Virginia, BTW.

[This message has been edited by SteveFehr (edited 07-26-2006).]

Re: Handymen #67985 07/26/06 07:46 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,803
Alan Belson Offline
Handymen, by definition, usually live just up the street. The word 'handy' has nothing to do with their skills or lack of them, only location. The truth is, a lot of folks feel intimidated and fearful of the costs incurred by hiring a professional man, what with taxes, callout fees and high grade materials and tools not 'borrowed' from the nearest project. Looking at the many pics posted here on ECN, some folks seem to live in horrid detritus-strewn shacks anyway, so what difference is a bit of dodgy wiring going to make. Lets face it, a skilled guy was never going to get the work anyway, so why worry?

Wood work but can't!
Re: Handymen #67986 07/26/06 06:38 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,121
HotLine1 Offline
Here in New Jersey, we have state lic for electricians, plumbers, and recently 'home improvement contractors', along with a myrid list of other lic. professionals.

The State Board of Examiners (Elec & Plumb) take a strong stick to those that they CATCH. Unfortunatley, few.

Yes, we have 'meat cutters', we have handymen, we have 'sparkies' that moonlight/sidework. We have homeowner DIY's, we have neighbors, & Lord knows who else.

As an AHJ, I can say, it's tough to catch them. Drive past a strip mall & notice NEON that wasn't there the day before. Go in & look at it (don't touch), talk to the owner.. 'Oh, the "sign guy" put it up last night' ask about permit (Ha Ha) then write a $500 fine.

As to the resi work, it goes on all the time. Usually it shows up before a real estate closing or CCO inspection.

I'm glad (??) we're not the only place this happens.


PS: Morticians are State Lic.; anyone know of a 'handyman' enbalmer for a bargain price?

[This message has been edited by HotLine1 (edited 07-26-2006).]

Re: Handymen #67987 07/26/06 07:39 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
e57 Offline
Oh who said it? (Some type of oil guy... Someone brought it up one day here, and I saved it.)

"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
-Red Adair

Maybe put it on the back of a buisiness card....

Or make it really in the best interest to hire a professional tradesman, lobby for B&P code that says if you're not licensed in a trade, you have to licensed as a hack, make the cost of this new class of license $50, and have "Proffessional HACK" in font twice the size of your name on any document or advertizing, with a fine of $50K for each offense found. A stack of cards could cost ya $1M. Make anyone who hires an unlicensed hack liable for $50K! Do ad campaign that says, "If you're gonna hire a "hack", you cheap SOB, make sure he's a professionaly licensed one, or you get fined $50,000!" Of course you would have to back that up with jack-booted goose-stepping enforcement, to really scare the day-lights out of people. [Linked Image]

Think of all the lowered taxes because of all the hacks out there...

[This message has been edited by e57 (edited 07-26-2006).]

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Re: Handymen #67988 07/26/06 08:14 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
We have a local ordinance that limits electrical work by those who are not electricians to "Maintenance" or what's incidental to their job...and that is further restricted to 10 ft. of wire.

In other words, the maintenance guy can change a receptacle, and the HVAC guy can connect the whip.... but you need a sparky to run the circuit.

Again, based upon our traditions of rugged individualism, limited government, and personal freedom, a man may do most anything in his own home.. subject to the same rules, permits, and inspections as anyone else.

Re: Handymen #67989 07/26/06 09:24 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 49
giddonah Offline
I'm almost afraid to admit this because of how much all of you have gone through. In Orange County, NY, there are no license requirements outside of city limits. There are three cities in the county. I'm a General Contractor. How? I bought the insurance that says I can say I am. I'll pause as some of you get back on your chairs. I don't say this to brag, just to let you know how it works here. I know the code, and have my work inspected. I haven't been red tagged yet. I am astounded at what I find though. 20A breakers feeding #14 and 15A switches and outlets. Flying splices everywhere. Junction boxes without covers are normal. I could probably knock on the door of any house in the county and find a picture for the violation forum. It's a miracle the county just doesn't burst into flames. Take my last final inspection. The inspector left his motor running in the driveway. He popped the GFI in the bathroom I added and took off. It's a bit of a mess out here, but at least I can say I'm leaving things much better off than I find them.

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