Basic basement finishing question

Old 01-23-14, 06:30 PM
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Basic basement finishing question

I'm considering finishing my basement with the help of a friend, who in turn has a friend that does electrical work on the side (union electrician for over 20 years he says, but I don't know if that means licensed). So whether or not his friend is licensed, if he can do everything up to code, does that matter to my municipality? I will apply for a permit to do the work just because I have nosy neighbors, but I'm not hiring them as contractors persay, just maybe over a little pizza and beer as it's not a complex wiring job (basic can lights and outlets) and his friend owes him a little work for work he's done for him. I'm just not sure if electrical work has to be done by licensed contractors or does the village even care, as long it's done according to code? Or putting it another way, by virtue of the permit, his work will still be inspected by the village so we'll know if it passes code or not during the process, so if the inspector does bless that the electrical work was done up to code, does the village care whether he was licensed or not? Does my insurance company? I will probably learn in the permit application process if I'm required to hire a licensed electrician if I'm asked if there will be electrical work, but I thought I'd ask here first.
Old 01-23-14, 08:42 PM
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Around here, there are state electrical inspectors, not connected with any specific municipality, unless that is their assigned area or "territory". From what I understand, by law, you can perform electrical work on your own home, but it still must be done according to code and pass inspection. Your friend "could" tell/show you how to do it, licensed or not. But as far as him actually doing the work, yes, he should be licensed.

Also, from what I understand, state inspectors are most often called to inspect MAJOR rennovations, not every little thing that is done electrically speaking. Adding a circuit... maybe not. Adding a new breaker box, probably.

So perhaps the scope of work is small enough that you will be under the radar. We'll see what some electricians have to say about this topic.

Since this topic is primarily an electrical question, it would be nice if the moderators could move it to the most appropriate forum for a discussion of this type.
Old 01-24-14, 02:22 AM
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Some areas do not have homeowner permits. You would need to ask.. As far as the friend of a friend, that would not meet the criteria as a homeowner.

Ask your insurance agent about the other concern.
Old 01-24-14, 08:07 AM
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(union electrician for over 20 years he says, but I don't know if that means licensed)
Not all states individually license electricians, I have no idea what Florida does. In my area a contractor is licensed by the local AHJ and the electricians who work for that contractor work under the contractor's license. Homeowners here can take out a permit for work on their own home if they pass a test, but homeowners cannot replace a service.
Old 01-27-14, 11:45 AM
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As you can see by the previous posts there's a lot of variation from area to area and state to state on the various requirements you mentioned. Most places will allow the homeowner to pull a permit and do the work and many of them consider friends of the homeowner allowable also since they are basically just "helping" on the project. We really get in a bind normally is if you hire somebody to do the work but don't tell the AHJ about it.

You can easily find out about all the restrictions in your area by going down to the local office where you pull permits. In most cases they will have a pamphlet of some type to give you telling you about all of the restrictions and what's allowable. Depending on how big the city is where you live you may even be able to find this information online at the municipal website. In addition since this friend of a friend has been a union electrician for 20 years he should be quite familiar with local regulations. He may not actually pull permits himself depending on what kind of work he does for who but he should still know what the regulations are.
Old 01-27-14, 02:38 PM
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I am a licensed journeyman electrician, I am not a licensed contractor. To work in other peoples homes/buildings you are required to be a licensed contractor which requires insurance, bonds, and a master electrician. My boss is the master of the shop.

That is how it works in our state. As others mentioned, you need to check the rules in your state. This might be a good place to start: DBPR Professions - Electrical Contractors' Licensing Board

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