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Old 12-16-2008, 10:16 AM   #46
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Is it right that an owner must be licensed to perform work


This is good! I live in the communist state of MA (the political figures like to call it the commonwealth of MA). We're not allowed to do any electrical nor plumbing, and I hear they're trying to ban homeowners from doing any work involving a dangerous piece of equipment called a ladder, only a licensed professional can use them (licensed painter, licensed roofer, etc). Living in MA all my life, I will NEVER vote for someone from MA.

I feel like covering my face in blue streaks and going to the Capitol building wearing a kilt repeatedly screaming FREEDOM at the top of my lungs (imitating Braveheart).

The licensed pro's have all the power and are becoming corrupt here. The going rate for a plumber is $160+/hr (I'll talk about electricians later). If you find one for less the next time they can see you is in 6 months. The plumber who charged me $160+/hr, tacked on $120 to my bill for "Labor to fill out the permit", along with charging $100 in "materials" which consisted of two half-inch ball valves, which I see selling at HD for $4.25 each. Total bill for 2 1/2 hours of work, using my pipe and his two half-inch ball valves was $785 (the $40 for the permit should be deducted from that). I could've done it for $49.50 and done better (I'm not even going to tell you how bad he was). When you consider the average adult in my town takes home $492/week we have to work a week and a half to pay a plumber for 2 1/2 hours. It doesn't help they're living in mansions, and they'll tell you all about their winter homes in Bermuda. It's not just my plumber, another coworker of mine had the same situation different plumber.

Electricians are different, they don't charge additional labor for pulling permits and are more in the $75-$85/hr ball park. They mark up their parts 15-20%, not the plumbers 1,000%. I hope it's not a matter of time when they wonder why plumbers are getting away with it why can't they. Because electricians are reasonable I hire them, a plumber I don't hire unless there's absolutely no other option.

The political figures in our state are idiots for forcing only licensed pro's. At least allow a homeowner to take a class and be able to pull plumbing/electrical permits on their own house with the certificate. I don't think the inspectors have any idea the "pros" (plumbers more accurately) are charging homeowners (in my case $120 extra) for the labor to fill out the paperwork of their permits. My coworker got caught not pulling a plumbing permit (for obvious reasons) and the plumbing inspector showed up and forced him to clog his toilets & sinks and fill the vent stack of his house with water to the top. If it moved within 20 minutes, he was going to force him to rip out all the plumbing he did. I can only think the plumbing inspector has no idea what plumbers charge homeowners, it's worth the risk.

Anyway, this state is a fiasco. LIVE FREE OR DIE is what I say! If I could pull electrical or plumbing I would so I have the safety of an inspector to check my work and have piece of mind. I am a big advocate of inspectors. Since I can't, and can't get a reasonable pro who isn't booked for months, leaving only the corrupt instead I choose risking the work myself and getting caught. I feel denied of the added safety of an inspector to make sure I did things right... in the end isn't that more dangerous?



Last edited by Piedmont; 12-16-2008 at 11:03 AM.
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