What is a Contractor in Los Angeles? Most people know what a contractor does, but many don’t understand the difference between a construction contractor and a residential or commercial contractor.
To keep it simple, we’ll just stick with Los Angeles for now. The term “Contractor” is one of those words that has been used so much over the decades that its meaning can be somewhat ambiguous at times. Some contractors are generalists who do all types of work from basic carpentry to wiring and plumbing while others focus on a single trade such as electrical work or heating/cooling systems.
There are times when people use the term “Contractor” to identify anyone who is doing work on their home, but this can be misleading because there are significant differences in the type of licenses and insurance coverage required for each.
While it’s true that many residential contractors do both carpentry work and electrical or plumbing, they are likely not insured for one or more of these trades because they don’t need them for that particular job. There are also technical aspects within each trade that an experienced contractor will understand that someone without the proper training might not be able to tackle successfully.
Contractors may specialize in certain types of jobs while others may handle a variety depending on how busy they get with their individual trade. Let’s look at some examples to help illustrate this point.
If you want to build an addition onto your house, you’ll most likely need a general contractor who specializes in this type of work or at least one that has experience with it. You can certainly hire someone who only does the carpentry and maybe another person to help with the electrical or plumbing, but they would probably not be bonded and insured for those trades as long as they were doing work within their own specialty. There are some states where you might require different licenses so don’t assume anything. If you’re not sure how things work in Los Angeles, speak with someone on our staff first before hiring anyone. Once the project is complete and approved by the city, then that contractor would only need to carry liability insurance since they would not be doing any additional work on the property.
If you are looking to do some remodeling in your bathroom, you have a few options. You could hire someone who is only bonded and insured for this type of work or you can find someone who is experienced with multiple trades. Every state is different so it’s best to check what the local laws are before hiring anyone.
For example, if an electrician installs recessed lighting in your bathroom but doesn’t convert it over from an incandescent bulb to a more energy-efficient LED source, then they might not be able to offer any warranty on their electrical work because they didn’t follow local code. This would likely void any manufacturer warranties as well unless those fixtures were covered under such a policy (which might be part of the original contract).
The same holds true for plumbing work. If an experienced plumber connected your new faucet but didn’t install flex tubing that is code compliant, they would not be allowed to offer any warranty on their work because it wasn’t done according to code. Since this sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, doing both electrical and plumbing work yourself might seem like an option, but you have to have the proper training for one or more of these trades before attempting anything like this on your own.
Do you Need a Contractor?
When it comes down to it, you need someone who is bonded and insured for whatever type of work you need to be done. However, they should also have plenty of experience with the job so that the finished product will meet code requirements. If you know what you want to do but aren’t sure how to accomplish it or even if your state requires licensing for it, speak with one of our knowledgeable representatives first before hiring anyone because there may be something else you’re overlooking.
We can put you in contact with an experienced contractor who works out of Los Angeles that could discuss all your options before anything begins at no charge. There are certain things that might not be covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy which might include faulty electrical wiring, outdated plumbing fixtures (that suddenly overflow), or a roof that caves in. These are just a few examples, so it’s always best to be safe than sorry and get everything in writing before work begins.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why you might need a contractor for your next home project. Not only do they have the experience to get the job done right, but they’re also bonded and insured in case something goes wrong. This peace of mind can be well worth the money spent, especially if something catastrophic happens. For smaller projects, you might be able to get away with hiring someone who is only experienced in one trade, but it’s always best to consult with the experts at Sandstone Builders first to make sure everything is taken care of properly.