I intend to remodel a property I purchased recently. I'm experienced in
construction, having built a couple of places in the past. I know what
I want to save some money and go the Owner-Builder route. I want to
hire a carpenter to help me frame the place. I will need a drywaller to
work with me also. All of the mechanical trades I can do with my
If I hire a carpenter, does he have to be licensed or can he simply be
a tradesman. I've got a semi-retired guy in mind who's a really good
carpenter, but that is all he is. He isn't a licensed contractor. I
want him to work piece work, he says that's OK with him. He seems to be
reluctant to take the job, for fear of working on a project without a
I assured him I will be the owner and his employer. He will be my
employee. How can I convince him that it's legal for him to help me
frame this place? It doesn't make sense to me to save money by being
an Owner-Builder and then pay the overhead and profit of hiring a
framing contractor when I know how to frame, I just need an extra
If he is indeed your employee you will need to be paying work comp,
unemployment insurance, 1/2 his SSI etc. If you aren't doing this then he is
not an employee. If he is not an employee he would be a subcontractor and
will need to be insured (at least) and provide you with a certificate.
I don't know about license, in your area, for carpenters. My area non are
required for that trade.
This applies to any trade (drywaller) You must get an insurance certif. to
be legal and to be able to write off there payments as a business expense.
If you pay off the books you are responsible for any damages and also can't
deduct their payments as an expense.
Hire him as a sub, not employee, he doesn`t need a lisence, if he has
insurance good, get a cert. Either way have him sign a document that you
are providing none. Make payments in round, nice, amounts like 500,
700 etc so he looks like a sub.
In addition to the excellent advice given by calhoun let me add that in most
areas of the country you will be required to have a "worker's comp" policy
when hiring licensed sub-contractors UNLESS they provide you with proof that
they have the coverage. NOTE: Many individuals who work alone and who are
otherwise fully insured and licensed do not have worker's comp on
themselves. Based on the laws in your locality, you may be able to work
around this with a written contract.
Here all contractors must be licensed and insured or they must work for a
contractor (General or otherwise) who is. Only your local building
inspection or code enforcement office can tell you the regulations for your
You don't want to go the employer/employee route. Anyone you hire is
a contractor or sub-contractor to you, whether they are a "licenced
contractor" or not.
You want to make sure he has disability insurance. If he is your
employee, YOU will have to pay workers comp for him along with other
possible taxes and fees. Here in Canada, you would have to take EI, CPP,
and income tax off his pay, and remit the tax deduction, 2.4 times the EI
deduction, and 2 times the CPP deduction to the government. Your
jurisdiction likely has similar requirements.
I agree, having built my own home. I did all the floor and wall framing,
but hired a contractor to do the roof trusses. Closer to what you are
looking to do, when it came to hanging the drywall, I hired an individual
for a week directly.
If your carpener doesn't do this regularly, and therefore likely wouldn't
have his own disability insurance, you could offer to pay for that while
he works for you.
"Never ascribe to malice what can equally be explained by incompetence."
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