Electrical side jobs

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  #41  
Old 04-07-06, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by lectriclee
TO ALL... Again I state... The ONLY DUMB QUESTION is the one NEVER ASKED!!
And I would only ask, Know and accept your own limitations.
put you,Your family,friends and people you don't know yet ahead of saving money. What you do this weekend could affect someone (good or bad) years from now.
Very well put. Goes without saying about limitations, family, etc. I know I'm working very hard on all aspects of my home to make it easy for the future owners. One reason is because the guy before didn't, and now I"m paying the price. Plus I'm meticulous with details...
 
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  #42  
Old 04-07-06, 09:23 PM
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#
#See this all gets back to my original argument. You have an area that will allow Harry homeowner to run all the utilities he wants uninspected #

Sounds like culture shock.

#professional builder ( not to mention a professional linesman) cannot touch a utility #

YES-Unless licensed to do so in the particular Commonwealth.

#but that was not told to me at city hall #

It's your job to know the rules, unless you ask.

#if a permit is pulled by an electrician to do a small job no inspector typically comes out. #

Back to revenue

*there are some lousy electricians here*

EVERYWHERE!!!!! Buyer beware!!

#It would be ludicrous to say I or anyone else was "taking bread off the table" from licensed electricians since you can't even get one here. I have had several people tell me they have called companies to come do a job and if they answered the phone at all would set up a time and just not show or call. (Same with plumbers.) Not to mention charge an exorbitant fee for a minor job if they do show. #

Are you licensed in this state? Thats the law, Sorry, we new it so we got licensed. I can roof, but not legally in this state without a license, (back to revenue) you want to run phone lines ,alarms, septic systems etc. etc. To a degree I sence your angst, But thats the way it is here.


Have you checked into liability insurance in this area yet?
You must have noticed the fuel prices, The taxes (fees) and all the rest.There is a ton of hidden costs. you need a days pay to pay for 1/2 day. Have you tried to establish your bussiness here or are you out of VA,? All this BS in this Commonwealth is devistating to the consumer and the bussiness person. Hence our attitude.

Alot of these contractors can't afford to do small jobs.

*
 
  #43  
Old 04-09-06, 07:06 PM
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Wow daveboy and I thought I got around! I will be the first one to admit that there is PLENTY I could learn about electric. The bulk of my experience comes from a basement finishing company I worked for years ago where we did all of our wiring and plumbing. In fact everything but the paint and the carpet. After that there were a few more basements and quite a few additions I picked up a little more on. To this day if I walk in on some commercial electricians discussing a job I might know half of what they're talking about. I had a few little jobs and a couple fairly big ones lined up here in MA by family members. My mother moved up here about 5 years ago and told me about how no one could get anything done up here since most contractors (in all trades) were booked solid, some for months. Also there were concerns about the quality of the work from some of them. So I was in a spot where I was breaking up with this woman I lived with for about 4 years and was going to have to get my own place so I decided what the hell and came up here. I have been here just over a year now and am getting close to completing what I had lined up. I have a bathroom I have to gut and essentially completely remodel but after that I need to figure something out. As much as I love to run my own jobs I very well may sign on somewhere hourly just not to have to deal with the hassles especially with the required licensing up here. I may go back to northern Va. Haven't quite decided. Oh and one funny thing I should point out for what it's worth. Virginia is also a commonweath state but obviously some big differences.
 

Last edited by BuiLDPro68; 04-09-06 at 07:32 PM.
  #44  
Old 04-09-06, 08:13 PM
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**compared to the framing, drywall etc. it is the easiest part of the job. Not backing off that one.**

Useing your brains and not your brawn. I enjoy lifting and "lumping" that stuff too, FOR A CHANGE!

* I would say that the electrical is the least time consuming, but takes just as much planning as the rest to do it right (the first time).*
WHAT do you do the next time? (Oh ya, chacolate cookies).

*{installing a new outlet in my area is $1.25 per outlet. But the minimum permit fee is $55. That should tell you something.}*

Your right, The cost of living etc....... And I will quote and you can install, and we BOTH will be VERY VERY HAPPY!!!!

I forgot to ask, If you think it's so bad up here (New England),Why are you here? We have rules and regs to weed out the "fly by nights".

So deal with it or quit your *****en...
If you go back and install outlets for .75/per you'ld be swamped.

No I'm not union. Never have been (in this feild).
 
  #45  
Old 04-09-06, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by BuiLDPro68
Oh and one funny thing I should point out for what it's worth. Virginia is also a commonwealth
It's not worth anything.

> state but obviously some big differences.
There can be a lot of differences.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._state


http://ask.yahoo.com/20001117.html:
At the About.com: Lawyers site, we learned that there are four commonwealths in the United States: Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky.
The difference between these commonwealths and the other 46 states is in name alone -- they elected to call themselves commonwealths, a term drawn from political theory.
The About.com lawyer assured us that, legally, there is no difference between a state and these four commonwealths.
 
  #46  
Old 04-09-06, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by lectriclee

* I would say that the electrical is the least time consuming, but takes just as much planning as the rest to do it right (the first time).*
WHAT do you do the next time? (Oh ya, chacolate cookies).

*{installing a new outlet in my area is $1.25 per outlet. But the minimum permit fee is $55. That should tell you something.}*

Your right, The cost of living etc....... And I will quote and you can install, and we BOTH will be VERY VERY HAPPY!!!!
I'm not really sure what your responses to my statements mean. Electrical IS easier on the body then drywall and framing and takes less time; doesn't mean it's easy. And I'm not sure what the 'chacolate cookie' reference is. It is possible to actually make a mistake, correct it, and not be a total failure.

And the statement about the permit fees; i.e. 'cost of living, etc.'. This is tax revenue plain and simple, used as any other tax revenue (pay city employees, fix roads, etc). And I'm not clear about the rest of your remark. There is no way I would pay an electrician, or anyone else, $55 (it's probably more) to install a receptacle. I'll do it myself, unpermitted, for that cost.

And that's part of the reason why SO MUCH work gets done by the homeower, unpermitted. Cost. Period.

Please help me understand what you are saying.
 
  #47  
Old 04-09-06, 10:12 PM
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**I forgot to ask, If you think it's so bad up here (New England),Why are you here? We have rules and regs to weed out the "fly by nights".**
leectriclee:
If it pleases you to consider me a "fly by night" then by all means go ahead.. But the truth of the matter is I was asked to come up here and do work by New Englanders. As far as laws weeding me out that is also not the case. There are still ways someone like me can make a living here whether or not I can pull utilities permits personally. I have to wonder why you are so worried about "outsiders" taking work from you or other locals. I never felt threatend for my job in Va, here or anywhere else. If I am reliable and capable for the work or job I am doing, my own merits will speak for themselves and I will get more work accordingly. I guess I just don't have time to worry about the mexicans or worse some guy from down south taking my jobs. Especially when there is plenty of work
 
  #48  
Old 04-10-06, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by BuiLDPro68
Wow daveboy and I thought I got around! I will be the first one to admit that there is PLENTY I could learn about electric. The bulk of my experience comes from a basement finishing company I worked for years ago where we did all of our wiring and plumbing. In fact everything but the paint and the carpet. After that there were a few more basements and quite a few additions I picked up a little more on. To this day if I walk in on some commercial electricians discussing a job I might know half of what they're talking about. I had a few little jobs and a couple fairly big ones lined up here in MA by family members. My mother moved up here about 5 years ago and told me about how no one could get anything done up here since most contractors (in all trades) were booked solid, some for months. Also there were concerns about the quality of the work from some of them. So I was in a spot where I was breaking up with this woman I lived with for about 4 years and was going to have to get my own place so I decided what the hell and came up here. I have been here just over a year now and am getting close to completing what I had lined up. I have a bathroom I have to gut and essentially completely remodel but after that I need to figure something out. As much as I love to run my own jobs I very well may sign on somewhere hourly just not to have to deal with the hassles especially with the required licensing up here. I may go back to northern Va. Haven't quite decided. Oh and one funny thing I should point out for what it's worth. Virginia is also a commonweath state but obviously some big differences.
I have gained a lot of experience in my near 53 years. Doing unrelated jobs here and there for say 3 years at a time can really build your overall knowledge and also give you a fearless attitude to be willing to try something else and that you can be good at that also. *I* would rather be a person who knows a little about a lot, rather than a lot about a little (like someone who dedicated their entire life to just one profession, and knows almost nothing else). But that is just me.

But I sense that is you also.

I feel your pain because *I* have been there, done that (like you). When I came up into the Eau Claire area, I put up big signs in laundromats, stores etc., telling the world I could do this, this and this...and this. One day, I get this call from a regional supervisor in charge of plumbing, for this part of the state. He asked me a lost of questions. Then he ordered me to "cease and desist" from any more advertising for plumbing work unless I can show that I have a license, in my ads. (A local master plumber I knew, who felt threatened by my cheap labor rates, had squeeled on me.) *THAT* ticked me off. I tried to tel him I was this water operator in Texas...gained lots of plumbing experience...yada, yadda...that the unions had cornered the market and were pulling the purse strings, etc. I was barking up the wrong tree... preaching to the wrong choir.

But he acted like he felt my plight, but said that is just the way that it is. He cited liability issues, and said he doubted I was carrying insurance the licensed guys were and that I wouldn't even *qualify* for the proper insurance without a license.

Then I found out similar laws pertained to doing electrical work. This all infuriated me. I had gone, up until that point without ever having a work related mishap, and to this day, I haven't. I wanted someone to give me the benefit of the doubt. To allow me in these trades where I too could partake of some of this nice money. In fact, by *not* being licensed, I have been *more* careful. Even the way I pack an electrical box, separating things good, especially when doing repairs with bad insulation knob and tube, for example.

*BUT*, after reading many of the forums here and elsewhere, I truly do not have the knowledge that many of the licensed guys have. Like I said before in an earlier post...I know I could wire a place from not burning up. But there really is more to it than that. What helps people like you and me though, as opposed to a total greenhorn who knows absolutely nothing, is that we might at least know the right questions to ask. For example: You could presume that running 14 gauge wire for 15 amps is good. But would you have the sense to research or ask if running 100 feet of it would still be okay? Would you know that perhaps in this distance you might need to upsize to 12 gauge? Even though you might have the sense to mount a ceiling fan so it wouldn't come down on someones head, or know how to wire up a 220 baseboard heater...would you also know when and when you can't use a dimmer switch, for example? Etc.

Anyway, you will never get the blessings of the state to carry on like you would like, so you wil probably have to be up front with customers and tell them that you are unlicensed and perhaps uninsured for that work, and if they still trust you, because you think you can save them $200 or whatever, then I guess that is betwen you two . BUT, even this approach does not guarantee that if ever a problem arose, that this would get you out of trouble. There are certain things you cannot exclude yourself from, even when an agreement was made. Exammple: Townships cannot have a disclaimer written on an open bridge that says, "Danger! Travel at your own risk." Even though they have posted that notice on the bridge, they can still be sued if they allowed the bridge to be open. The same could apply to you that even though the party hiring you came to terms with you, that if there ever was a legal issue regarding wiring and a fire, that you could be fined big, perhaps. Maybe even jailed.

That is why I like working for landlords exclusively. They all know my abilities and they would also share any blame if any problem ever came up because of my work. Also, I am known amongst the inspectors in town and they do not say "Dave, yes you can do this"..but they know that us maintenance guys all do this and that, and they turn a blind eye to those like me who they feel have been doing this stuff for 20 years without one reported problem.

Good luck.
 
  #49  
Old 04-10-06, 08:30 PM
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All Of This And More:

Alrighty then, First things first. #1.. I am not union, and if I were It should'nt matter. I (WE) in this state, Commonwealth, Whatever, Have worked hard, gone to school, Been tested and have met all requirements for this trade/profession!

This trade is not "black to black, white to white", ALTHOUGH SOME MAY SEE IT THAT WAY. There is a lot of responsability and background that goes into it.
To hear of someone who can afford the $20.00 Pliers/testers/screwdrivers and such, and is suddenly in business ,is disturbing. Yes there is alot you can do on your own. Have at it.If it is YOUR family involved.

But when you "fly by nighters",yes I will call you that(A SPADE is a SPADE NOT A SHOVEL) , Show up from here or there, (yes we have the local ones too) It is a DISCREDIT to MY profession, And I take that PERSONALY!!!!!

I need insurance, liability and such. Do you have that?
If not, your a fool. But then again if your running under the radar why bother.But then again, running under the radar you cut your own throat.


>That is why I like working for landlords exclusively. They all know my abilities and they would also share any blame if any problem ever came up because of my work. Also, I am known amongst the inspectors in town and they do not say "Dave, yes you can do this"..but they know that us maintenance guys all do this and that, and they turn a blind eye to those like me who they feel have been doing this stuff for 20 years without one reported problem.<

You have been "LUCKY" so far, You actualy think for a nano- second, That if this landlord sufferd a loss he would NOT get you!!!? What if you were the landlord? "TRUST no one and don't be no fool"!

>without one reported problem.<
THATS all it takes!!!!


I will gladly give advice to anyone who needs it. I will not however give false sence of security!!!!!

TO ALL INTERESTED!!!!! CHECK for Background,LICENSES,INSURANCE and references!!!
YOU have too much invested to be #$%@^*

Fuente,
Eletrical is easier on the body!?(sure thats why I picked it) Perhaps in the residential end, But then again try putting in all those outlets.And pull in the 200' of under ground, Most have no CLUE!!!!!! Industrial/commercial, Bring that 4" up to the penthouse!!Now bring up the 350/500 mcms etc.

A real pro. makes it look easy!! If it was, everyone would do it
 
  #50  
Old 04-10-06, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by lectriclee

Fuente,
Eletrical is easier on the body!?(sure thats why I picked it) Perhaps in the residential end, But then again try putting in all those outlets.And pull in the 200' of under ground, Most have no CLUE!!!!!! Industrial/commercial, Bring that 4" up to the penthouse!!Now bring up the 350/500 mcms etc.

A real pro. makes it look easy!! If it was, everyone would do it
Absoulutely. Should have said 'residential' electrical (remodel not new construction) is easier on the body then remodeling for drywall and framing. Putting is an outlet is a lot easier on the body then hanging drywall on the ceiling...
 
  #51  
Old 04-10-06, 09:16 PM
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@
A real pro. makes it look easy!! If it was, everyone would do it


@Absoulutely. Should have said 'residential' electrical (remodel not new construction) is easier on the body then remodeling for drywall and framing. Putting is an outlet is a lot easier on the body then hanging drywall on the [email protected]

We all thank you, Now thats why we (I) like service work,

Let the young bucks do it. (on occasion its still alot fun).
 
  #52  
Old 04-10-06, 09:54 PM
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Lectriclee.
First of all I think you are putting words in our mouths. I don't think anyone has implied that electrical work is as simple as black to black etc. In fact seems we have been saying the opposite. The point, to me anyway, is a lot of it is that simple and if it's a small part of MY job then I am going to do it. As it is I doubt electrical makes up 10% of my work. What little I do I have done before many times most under inspection so if you want to keep ranting about the safety issues go ahead. Bottom line is there is only so many ways to screw in a lightbulb and having a licence to do it doesn't make it any safer. You say you wont give us a false sence of security, well fine by me. Day I need security from you I will hang up my hammer. I know my customers sleep at night just as well as I do. Maybe what you need is a little security for yourself. To hear you talk about how people are stealing work and all makes me wonder what your so worried about. The only one that can really "discredit your profession" is you.
 
  #53  
Old 04-10-06, 10:13 PM
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this thread does highlight a very important point.

Most people in the forum are DIY'ers (obviously) and are asking each other and the pros for help doing work themselves, I would guess most is unpermitted. So when someone asks how to install a new subpanel or extend a kitchen circuit, the response is always very helpful, but in a lot of areas the homeowner CANNOT do the work themselves, yet the advice is not simply to 'get a licensed, insured, bonded, anointed, etc..electrician to do it', it's simply advice on HOW to do it right, which is what DIY is all about.

The advice given here by the experts is invaluable, that's for sure. I've learned so much in a very short amount of time.

But it seems to me that this thread contradicts that. If the advice is how to do it right, from a pro, and I follow that advice, how can I do it wrong? On the other hand, I shouldn't be doing the work anyway, in some areas.

This is just information, plain and simple. Sure you should follow the local codes, and do it safely, with or without a permit. But I'm not sure that a permit or a pro can install a new receptacle or recessed lighting any better or safer that I can. Partially, I have this forum to thank for that. Now a new service panel is something different, but really, most residential electrical is fairly straightforward; compared to other types. Pros can do it quicker, and if they do muck it up, they are insured.

I guess the homeowner needs to decide when to call an insured pro and pull a permit, or to just do it themselves. It is not black and white; a homeowner can do a lot of the same stuff a pro can do (in all kinds of DIY, not just electrical), but there is some stuff that they should not touch and leave it to the pros.


Jeez, I'm not sure what my point was now...
 
  #54  
Old 04-10-06, 11:47 PM
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I agree only to a point. I come across LOTS of DIY installations that were done and work "fine." Years later I find the loose wirenuts or backwards wire loops coming loose, or cord caps with improper wire stripping, or COUNTLESS other little things that we pros know almost subconsciously and don't reiterate to a DIYer when telling them how to do something.
 
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