Do I need to be licensed to perform certain Contracting or Electrical Work?

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It is not always clear whether certain scopes of work require a licensed professional to perform, or if they can be performed by a handyman.

The DBPR’s Construction Contracting website offers examples of services that require a person with a Florida license to perform.  The list is not all inclusive.

Needs a License Does not need a license

Build a carport or sunroom for compensation.

Install a driveway or install pavers/tile walkways regardless of compensation.

Construct a roof for compensation.

Install awnings that do not become a fixed part of the structure regardless of compensation.

Install a dishwasher (requires connecting to drinking water) or replace a hot-water heater for compensation.

Add a water filter onto a faucet regardless of compensation.

Install a central air-conditioning unit for compensation (requires structural work and wiring).

Insert a plug-in A/C window unit regardless of compensation.

Clean central air and heat ducts for compensation (requires partial disassembly of the system, such as removal of air grills).

Change an A/C filter or cleaning ducts that do not require removal of the air grills regardless of compensation.

Repair or replace swimming pool pumps for compensation.

Clean swimming pools.

Install an above-ground pool regardless of compensation.

Perform plumbing work or irrigation installation that requires the contractor to connect lines to potable (drinking) water for compensation.

Install or repair irrigation systems that have a backflow preventer connected to a potable (drinking) water supply regardless of compensation.

Build a barn, metal building, or detached garage for compensation.

Install prefabricated tool shed less than 250 square feet in size regardless of compensation. The shed may be up to 400 square feet if it bears the insignia of approval from the Department of Community Affairs.

Remodel a home that requires alteration or replacement of a load-bearing wall for compensation.

Paint; install cabinets, wood or tile flooring, and insulation regardless of compensation.

Installation or replacement of drywall if the contract also includes work on the load bearing part of the wall, plumbing, electrical, or air conditioning work.

Installation or replacement of drywall if the contract does not include other work on the load bearing part of the wall or any plumbing, electrical, or air conditioning work.

Source: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/division/servicesthatrequirealicense_construction.html

In addition, Fla. Stat. 489.103 provides the following licensure exemptions for Construction Contracting-

Fla. Stat. 489.103 – Exemptions

(6) The sale or installation of any finished products, materials, or articles of merchandise that are not fabricated into and do not become a permanent fixed part of the structure, such as awnings (window treatments).

(7)(a) Owners of property when acting as their own contractor and providing direct, onsite supervision themselves of all work not performed by licensed contractors (under certain circumstances detailed by statute, omitted herein).

(9) Any work or operation of a casual, minor, or inconsequential nature in which the aggregate contract price for labor, materials, and all other items is less than $1,000, but this exemption does not apply:

                  (a) If the construction, repair, remodeling, or improvement is a part of a larger or major operation, whether undertaken by the same or a different contractor, or in which a division of the  
                        operation is made in contracts of amounts less than $1,000 for the purpose of evading this part or otherwise.
                  (b) To a person who advertises that he or she is a contractor or otherwise represents that he or she is qualified to engage in contracting.

(12) Any person who only furnishes materials or supplies without fabricating them into, or consuming them in the performance of, the work of the contractor.

(14) Any person who sells, services, or installs heating or air-conditioning units which have a capacity no greater than 3 tons or 36,000 Btu, which have no ducts, and which have a factory-installed electrical cord and plug.
(15) The installation and maintenance of water conditioning units for domestic, commercial, or industrial purposes by operators of water conditioning services. No municipality or county may adopt an ordinance, rule, or regulation which requires such an operator to become licensed, certified, or registered as a plumber or which otherwise prevents the installation and maintenance of such water conditioning units by an operator.
(18) Any one-family, two-family, or three-family residence constructed or rehabilitated by Habitat for Humanity International, Inc., or its local affiliates. Habitat for Humanity International, Inc.

(19) A disaster recovery mitigation organization or a not-for-profit organization repairing or replacing a one-family, two-family, or three-family residence that has been impacted by a disaster when such organization:

(if meets statutory conditions ommitted here.)
(20) The sale, delivery, assembly, or tie-down of prefabricated portable sheds that are not more than 250 square feet in interior size and are not intended for use as a residence or as living quarters. This exemption may not be construed to interfere with the Florida Building Code or any applicable local technical amendment to the Florida Building Code, local licensure requirements, or other local ordinance provisions.
(21) The sale, delivery, assembly, or tie-down of lawn storage buildings and storage buildings not exceeding 400 square feet and bearing the insignia of approval from the department showing compliance with the Florida Building Code.

(23) An employee of an apartment community or apartment community management company who makes minor repairs to existing electric water heaters or to existing electric heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems (if meets statutory conditions ommitted here.)

 Electrical and Alarm ContractorsAn Electrical Contractor installs, repairs, alters, adds to, or designs electrical wiring, fixtures, or appliances, which generate, transmit, transform, or utilize electrical energy for compensation. An alarm contractor lays out, fabricates, installs, maintains, alters, repairs, monitors, inspects, replaces, or services alarm systems for compensation.  Examples of compensation are cash, goods, services, etc.  If you pay someone to perform even the simplest of electrical work, such as connecting two wires, you must hire a licensee.

These items are offered as examples of services you do need to hire a person with a Florida license and services you do not need to hire a person with a Florida license.  The list is not all inclusive.

 And with respect to electrical contracting, Fla. Stat. 489.503 provides the following relevant Exemptions –
(5) The sale or installation of any finished products, materials, or articles of merchandise which are not actually fabricated into, and do not become a permanent fixed part of, the structure. 
(6) Owner’s of property (if meets statutory conditions ommitted here.)
(10) Any person who only furnishes materials or supplies without fabricating them into, or consuming them in the performance of, the work of the contractor.