Remodeling, repairs and new construction – hire right and protect yourself

John the Plumber


July 23, 2022

Stock image.

Knowing whom to hire when doing home projects can mean the difference between a successful venture or a major headache for the homeowner. Many people will reach out to friends, family or social media for referrals which can be a great source of names. However, even well-meaning friends don't know the right questions to ask and can end up referring someone who ends up not being so great.

One of the most common requests people will have is for a "licensed handyman." The thing is, there is no such thing in the state of California. John Nelson, owner of John the Plumber, explains what to look for.

"Anyone can call themselves a 'handyman' and they aren't doing anything illegal as long as they aren't performing work that requires a license and the job is worth less than $500. So licensing isn't the real issue. What you want to make sure of is that the party doing the work carries insurance both for the work they do and to protect you in case they get hurt on your property." he said.

John has nothing against handymen and said, "We often refer smaller jobs to local handymen. Heck, even my wife has a handyman that she calls for work around our house that I'm just too busy for!"

When a job requires a contractor, you want to make sure you're hiring the right contractor. John has a C-36 plumbing license which covers pretty much everything to do with waste, water and gas (natural and propane.)

"Recently one of our clients was told by a nationwide franchised plumbing company, whose employees work on commission, that we weren't licensed to do septic inspections and line repairs from the home to the tank. This is completely false. Title 16, Division 8, Article 3, section (a) of the California Code of Regulations explains this," John said. "You gotta be careful when the 'technician' that comes to your home works on commission."

John has also met homeowners who paid the prior contractor a 50% deposit and then the contractor never came back.

"California law is very clear on this," he says. "Contractors cannot ask for more than $1000 or 10% of the bid, whichever is less. If you have a contractor insisting they need more to cover the cost of materials, see this as a red flag. Do not pay for materials until they are delivered to your job site. An ethical contractor knows this."

For all your plumbing needs you can count on the crew over at John the Plumber. Give them a call at (661) 823-8031 or (760) 373-7050.


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