Household improvement contractors could turn into extinct in Louisiana

Under a proposed regulation in Louisiana, property owners would have to use a licensed standard contractor for any property advancement get the job done valued more than $10,000. Some get worried the measure will destroy the market place for trim carpenters, fence builders and other handymen who can conduct jobs up to $75,000 underneath existing regulation.

Currently, the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors (LSLBC) regulates two different styles of residential design industry experts, aside from mold remediation gurus: the licensed common residential contractor, which is required for work opportunities priced higher than $75,000 and the qualified property improvement contractor, who can conduct perform concerning $7,500 and $75,000. Both ought to go as a result of an application procedure and keep worker’s payment and standard liability coverage. Only a general contractor should move a check and reveal some proficiency to grow to be certified. 

Positions beneath $7,500, resources and labor merged, really do not call for any kind of license and are mainly unregulated. Condition legislation needs general liability insurance policies for any small business executing this sort of perform regardless of the cost, but the contractors’ board only calls for proof of coverage from certified home improvement and normal contractors. 

Residence Invoice 199, sponsored by Rep. Troy Romero, R-Jennings, would completely reduce the household advancement certification and require a basic contractor license for all positions over $10,000. Positions underneath that amount would be unregulated.

Romero explained to the Household Commerce Committee past 7 days a Calcasieu Parish prosecutor requested him to sponsor the bill soon after observing a proliferation of household advancement contractors masquerading as standard contractors to build households.

“This certification has been probably portion of the greatest difficulty we have experienced because it is not a license. It’s a certification,” Romero said. “It does not present proficiency. It just states that you compensated $75 and showed proof of coverage. And they were being making use of this to say that they were being a [general] contractor.” 

Romero’s preliminary proposal would have only minimized the threshold from $75,000 to $50,000, but he amended it to $10,000. The committee authorized that modification in a 9-5 vote. 


The only testimony in guidance of the evaluate came from the contractors board. A number of committee customers, Republican and Democrat, expressed concerns with how the monthly bill would have an impact on the lots of straightforward home advancement contractors who have not violated the law. 

Romero’s monthly bill would primarily get rid of the licenses of the approximately 3,200 house advancement contractors in Louisiana, Rep. Bryan Fontenot, R-Thibodaux, reported.  

“So you are likely to affect those people folks who are excellent players, who have been in the company for 20 or 30 years,” Fontenot reported.

There are roughly 4,000 household typical contractors in the state.  

Small work could finish up costing additional

Ray Shirey, operator of Handy Hubby in Zachary, has experienced a property advancement certification for about a calendar year. In a cellular phone interview, he mentioned he built houses for a long time in Pennsylvania prior to relocating to Louisiana a couple years back. 

Rep. Troy Romero’s legislation to conclusion household improvement contractor certification sets arbitrary thresholds in an attempt to remedy what seems to be an enforcement dilemma, Shirey explained. 

“Instead of holding men and women to the legislation, they’re just heading to change the regulation?” he reported. “Well, let’s get rid of pace restrictions simply because as well several persons are dashing.” 

The proposed $10,000 undertaking threshold that requires a general contractor doesn’t make it possible for any place for handypeople to adjust for inflation. Shirey was in the middle of making a tiny backyard deck when lumber expenses spiked all through the coronavirus pandemic. What was a $6,000 job greater to in excess of $10,000. 

“A larger, costlier task doesn’t always mean it’s additional difficult,” he explained. 

People today will have a challenging time obtaining a normal contractor to develop a $10,000 deck when most are fast paced creating million greenback houses, Shirey additional. 

“It’s just heading to charge the house owner extra,” Shirey said. “They’re not truly going to deal with the dilemma with this regulation. They’re likely to make it more durable for frequent people like me.”

Romero and LSLBC Chairman Lee Mallett continuously described the proposal as a “deregulation bill” and claimed it delivered a route for property enhancement contractors to grow to be typical contractors possibly by way of a waiver or the typical screening and acceptance process. 

To get a waiver, a employee has to use to the board and post 3 letters of advice from other licensed normal contractors. Waivers are readily available on a per-task basis and now authorized underneath existing point out law. 

“But they have that path ideal now,” Fontenot explained. “If they wanted to be a household contractor, they could have chose to do that. They selected to be a home enhancement contractor.”

Romero claimed a worker can also get a waiver if the home-owner assumes duty for the supervision of the do the job. Rep. Edmond Jordan, D-Baton Rouge, did not like the idea of inserting a homeowner at chance.

“Let’s not connect with it some thing that it’s not,” Jordan claimed. “Now you’re putting the stress on the homeowner… If we’re waiving them in with no check, then we however really don’t definitely know they are proficient.”

Immediately after additional discussion, the committee approved an amendment from Fontenot that would instantly grant basic contractor licenses to dwelling enhancement contractors who have been qualified in very good standing for at least 3 yrs. 

Even so, Mallet and Romero expressed concern with the amendment due to the fact it would hand out contractor licenses to many hundred home advancement registrants who have completed nothing at all apart from establish fences for the previous 15 several years. 

Under the amended proposal, about 1,200 of the 3,200 qualified house advancement contractors in Louisiana would be qualified for the automated licensing update.

The Dwelling is scheduled to just take up the evaluate in a ground vote on Tuesday. If it passes, it will head to the Senate up coming.

Correction: Ray Shirey crafted houses as a contractor in Pennsylvania after beginning work as a handyman in Alaska. A former model of this write-up didn’t mention his time in Pennsylvania.