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Thread: using one's own or employer's license on home vs. owner builder

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaggedben View Post
    Well that is all clear as mud...

    Seems like no one agrees with the customer who didn't want to use her own license on her own house. Okay.

    Seems like no one can give me a specific reason why it is a bad idea for an employee to ask an employer if a project can be handled through the company. I've just been given vague dislikes. Obviously employer has to be on board and have either a financial reason or an adequate level of trust in the employee to allow it at cost. As far as the McDonald's comment, nobody said 'free', and it seems to me that employer discounts are something that exist in all industries, depends more on company culture than anything else, but I don't know why it should be different with contracting. The question is whether there is some fundamental reason not do it because of law or it majorly skews the financial risk.

    Why mix personal and work business? Well, maybe because the business is set up with things you may want like insurance (both general liability and workers' comp) and material pricing, and because the bureaucracy would be more friendly. Maybe you need a bit of experienced help and would like to work with guys you know and pay them legitimately through the business. Those are the 'pros', but is there a specific 'con', other than maybe it depends on how good the employee/employer relationship is?

    Anybody know how homeowners insurance typically treats small owner-builder permits for a house that is already built? We are not talking about a home build here. Guess I should call my insurance agent, but thought people here might know. Google doesn't filter out all the chaff related to people flipping homes.
    I would guess insurance is often silent (homeowner's, workers compensation and contractor liability) until a claim gets filed, then they want some of those details and try to get out of paying claim if they don't like what they see. Having a permit and passing inspections should be a big help for homeowners insurance though.

    Worker's comp and liability - unless there were other employees helping and it was documented that they were on the payroll for this project, it would get more complicated in order for them to accept that as a claim covered by the policy. Owner himself using a permit issued to his employer but doing the work on his own isn't ordinarily covered and since he isn't working for the employer liability insurance ordinarily wouldn't apply either. He needs his own personal insurance just like any other homeowner would need while constructing their own home.
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by petersonra View Post
    It seems to me you are really asking whether it is more beneficial to get a permit under the contractor's name or under the homeowner's name, where it just happens the contractor in question is your employer and the homeowner is you.


    If I were your employer I would not want anything to do with your side gig building your own house. There would just be nothing in it for me and there could be some potential for negative consequences.

    As for you, do you really want to mix your employment up with your personal life in this manner? Keep them separate IMO.
    ^^^^That right there. I can't see any upside for the employer, just a certain assumption of risk for which he is receiving no compensation.

    Regarding your own license, I'd use it if I had it. Charge yourself a dollar so you can establish a contractual relationship between you as the corporation and you as the homeowner.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaggedben View Post

    Seems like no one agrees with the customer who didn't want to use her own license on her own house. Okay.

    Seems like no one can give me a specific reason why it is a bad idea for an employee to ask an employer if a project can be handled through the company ...
    It's not clear if you are proposing work you do yourself or work you will hire out.

    Anything you hire out, even simple tasks can get very complex and expensive quickly. That's why (it should be obvious) it's far cheaper to hire specialty, experienced trade contractors. Do it right the first time with less trouble. You would not hire your EC to do hydronic heating or your buddy the plumber to do painting. Civilization is founded on the division of specialized labor (Adam Smith). Wire something for some other customer and hire out the foundation pour.

    You may hire your own company or any other for what you will not do yourself, with obvious gain

    The lady who would not use her license likely was not performing the work personally herself and hiring it out. She was partitioning or isolating her risk. Any problem with the house or contractors should not also come with a one two blow and also cost her the professional position at work. It's the same reason you don't put your retirement money all into your employer's company stock. The risk of losing both the job and the equity.

    I subbed for a GC that built raised ranches and was ready to close in two weeks from the foundation up. If your company specializes in the work you want done, hiring them is obvious. If your company has a different specialty and you would be asking them for something they do not normally perform, it's an obvious red flag. Whatever you want to be covered for by insurance, your insurance agent is the person to talk to.
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  4. #14
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    Y'all are some strict hombres. I'd help one of my guys out by pulling a permit or similar for him. Big deal, it happens all the time.
    Ethan Brush - East West Electric. NY, WA. MA

    "You can't generalize"

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrofelon View Post
    Y'all are some strict hombres. I'd help one of my guys out by pulling a permit or similar for him. Big deal, it happens all the time.
    Same here. And why should it be much of a problem if permit is pulled and it passes inspections?

    Different if I pulled a permit for an apprentice that worked for me and never even came to check out the work, but if the guy were my journeyman he possibly does jobs on a daily basis that I never really have eyes on - he is qualified to work without additional direct supervision with the license he holds.
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  6. #16
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    The solid limit (in most areas anyway) is that if you pull an owner permit you cannot have any other employees "help" you with the job.
    If you are not the boss, a permit in the company name should be legal but risk liability if you are the not one working .

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldDigger View Post
    If you are not the boss, a permit in the company name should be legal but risk liability if you are the not one working .

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
    But if it is your top journeyman that is wiring his own house - pretty good chance he doesn't do anything different then what he does for you on a daily basis should you have a client building an identical house, and it probably gets inspected by another party as well.

    Huge difference between filing this permit and filing one for someone not qualified to do the work and leaving them on their own to do the installation.

    Insurance issues or other liability problems that could arise are sort of a different game altogether.
    I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwired View Post
    But if it is your top journeyman that is wiring his own house - pretty good chance he doesn't do anything different then what he does for you on a daily basis should you have a client building an identical house, and it probably gets inspected by another party as well.

    Huge difference between filing this permit and filing one for someone not qualified to do the work and leaving them on their own to do the installation.

    Insurance issues or other liability problems that could arise are sort of a different game altogether.
    If you want to be a nice guy and it somehow makes life easier for the employee by all means go ahead. I just personally feel that it's bad practice to do this.

    • When you normally file a permit for a job you are doing, the payment you receive covers the small but non-zero risks associated with the job.
    • If your company name is on the permit and it's "your" job, what happens if your employee is injured on "your" job?
    • Suppose during inspection, the inspector discovers that asbestos has been disturbed, or more than 6 square feet of wall has been demoed (lead abatement)? That inspector may not care about the intent behind securing the permit.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadfly56 View Post
    If you want to be a nice guy and it somehow makes life easier for the employee by all means go ahead. I just personally feel that it's bad practice to do this.

    • When you normally file a permit for a job you are doing, the payment you receive covers the small but non-zero risks associated with the job.
    • If your company name is on the permit and it's "your" job, what happens if your employee is injured on "your" job?
    • Suppose during inspection, the inspector discovers that asbestos has been disturbed, or more than 6 square feet of wall has been demoed (lead abatement)? That inspector may not care about the intent behind securing the permit.
    Electrical only permits won't necessarily have lead or asbestos abatement issues directly associated with them, especially if the inspector that comes is an electrical only type of inspector.

    I guess my reply was assuming an EC filing a permit only for the wiring portion of his employees house, and not filing any kind of blanket permit that covers all aspects of the project. Some of this comes down to individual jurisdictions and what the rules are. Some places there is one general permit for all trades, some places there may be a separate permit for different trades. Same can go for inspections.

    Here if I were pulling a permit for an employee - it would be for electrical work only. If he wants to inhale a bunch of lead or asbestos the EI won't really care, all he is going to look for is NEC compliance.
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  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwired View Post
    Electrical only permits won't necessarily have lead or asbestos abatement issues directly associated with them, especially if the inspector that comes is an electrical only type of inspector.

    I guess my reply was assuming an EC filing a permit only for the wiring portion of his employees house, and not filing any kind of blanket permit that covers all aspects of the project. Some of this comes down to individual jurisdictions and what the rules are. Some places there is one general permit for all trades, some places there may be a separate permit for different trades. Same can go for inspections.

    Here if I were pulling a permit for an employee - it would be for electrical work only. If he wants to inhale a bunch of lead or asbestos the EI won't really care, all he is going to look for is NEC compliance.
    If the work requires opening a wall or two, you could very quickly hit the 6 sq ft limit. I very much doubt the EI will simply ignore the issue under the guise of "it's not electrical work".

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