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  1. #1
    Aaron Guest

    Default Why Not Get License For All The Trades

    I am curious. I have been a GC for about three years now and am curious why I don't see GC's with multiples licenses. I am here in Arizona. Not sure if all the rules are the same, but you must have a license to practice as a GC, a license to do electrical, a license to do plumbing, and a license to do HVAC. This is for basic residential of course. I have looked at my books for last year and the costs I paid out to subcontractors for there expertise would easily pay for the licensing and bond for electrical and plumbing. Now minus the fact that maybe a GC doesn't have the expertise on staff for the work, why don't I see contractors obtainging multiple licensing so all the cash goes into there own pocket. Not to mention it reduces the percentage fo gross sales to subcontractors that my insurance requires I keep below 25%.

  2. #2
    Dick Seibert Guest

    Default Re: Why Not Get License For All The Trades

    Aaron:

    I don't know about Arizona, but in California a General Contractor can do it all on his own projects, he doesn't need separate licenses. He just can't go taking contracts to do plumbing or electrical for others.

    BTW, you mention your 25% subcontractor limitation, I filled out my renewal application yesterday and had to list every trade that I intend to subcontract, and will not be able to subcontract any work that I haven't listed for approval. I don't know whether this will eliminate the percentage approach, but I certainly hope it does. If this is where they are going, I will be allowed to subcontract certain approved trades, and not anything else. It will be interesting what the proposals are this year.

  3. #3
    Bob Kovacs Guest

    Default Re: Why Not Get License For All The Trades

    Dick-

    ARe you saying that in CA, a general contractor can sign and seal plumbing and electrical permits and be listed as the contractor of record for those trades? That sounds a little odd to me.....

    Bob

  4. #4
    Dick Seibert Guest

    Default Re: Why Not Get License For All The Trades

    Bob:

    Yes, when I take out a permit I permit the entire job that includes the electrical, plumbing and what have you permits. It has cut down the AHJ's work considerably. I could not pick up the permit for the electrical, and make the electrical contractor get his own permit, but nobody does it that way anymore, in fact the AHJ would look askance at me if I didn't permit the entire job. The general contractor is the responsible party, so he gets the permits and is responsible for everything anyway. The AHJ's just don't want to have to deal with subs anymore; they want to deal with the prime contractor. In an electrical only contract, the electrical contractor is the prime contractor.

    Just think about it, the state wants one responsible contractor, if that contractor elects to subcontract a portion of his responsibilities, he's still the responsible party and the AHJ and the state have one contact. Subcontracting is fast becoming a thing of the past around here, especially for insured contractors. We are going through some major adjustments, and most of us are utilizing subcontractors on a T&M basis so we can maintain control and properly supervise their work. An inspector recently showed me a 17 page write up on a job where the general subcontracted the work, they are going to make life just as hard as they possibly can for those that subcontract. Subcontractors are becoming specialty contractors, and the state now calls them specialty contractors and not subcontractors. Unethical generals have abused subcontracting to the extent that its pretty much over; it's viewed as profiteering.

  5. #5
    Steve Price Guest

    Default Re: Why Not Get License For All The Trades

    Bob

    Dick's right. (like you doubted him) thats the norm around here from what I've seen. My subs are rarely present for inspections either, it saves both of us time and money.

    Steve

  6. #6
    Dick Seibert Guest

    Default Re: Why Not Get License For All The Trades

    Steve:

    You sticking around?

  7. #7
    Steve Price Guest

    Default Re: Why Not Get License For All The Trades

    nope

  8. #8
    Bob Kovacs Guest

    Default Re: Why Not Get License For All The Trades

    Dick and Short-Timer Steve-

    That's interesting. Here in NJ, the electrical and plumbing permits have to be pulled by licensed contractors in those trades. It may be because there's no licensing for GC's, so it at least ensures that someone licensed is doing the electrical and plumbing. They actually have to affix a raised seal to the permits when they sign them- similar to and architect or engineer's seal.

    Bob

  9. #9
    Steve Price Guest

    Default Re: Why Not Get License For All The Trades

    Short-timer?? - wazzamean?
    .....must be a NJ thang lol

  10. #10
    Aaron Guest

    Default Re: Why Not Get License For All The Trades

    Wow, in Arizona you must be licensed to do HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, and GC work. So essentially, every complete job must have four licensed contractors. The odd thing is nobody enforces it. I know in Phoenix, when you file for the permit, they asj for the license number of each contractor, but its not checked. Here in Tucson, nobody asks for anything. I even called the registrar of contractors to ask them about it. They said if you do something you're not licensed for, the only way you'll get caught is if someone reports you and then the registrar basically slaps your hand and tells not to do it again. So this is where my question leads to why not get licensed in more that one trade and keep the cash in your own pocket?

    When I took my GC license, there was nothing on the exam regarding the other trades. Does tha CA exams have electrical, plumbing, and HVAC on the GC exam?

  11. #11
    Steve Price Guest

    Default Re: Why Not Get License For All The Trades

    Yes the GC license here in ca covers all trades, incl concrete, frame, elec, plmb, hvac, drywall, paint and misc, for 50% of the exam, the other 50% being law and business related

    Steve

  12. #12
    Steve Price Guest

    Default Re: Why Not Get License For All The Trades

    Aaron

    So does the gc license in AZ cover you for carpentry rgh and finish only?

    Steve

  13. #13
    Fred Guest

    Default Re: Why Not Get License For All The Trades

    Dick,
    You forgot Home Depot. They do whatever they want.
    Fred

  14. #14
    Roger P. Guest

    Default Re: Why Not Get License For All The Trades

    Michigan requires an apprenticeship of 5(?) years (or a letter from a licensed tradesman verifying your experience) for all the trades except the carpentry/builder/GC, before you can write the exam.

  15. #15
    Dick Seibert Guest

    Default Re: Why Not Get License For All The Trades

    Bob:

    I like the idea of sealing the plans, if for no other reason I think they very act of sealing them creates an assumption of responsibility. Looks like New Jersey could teach California something; now, why don't you start licensing generals?

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