Handymen must be registered, bonded beginning Jan. 1, 2015

Need your deck repaired? New screen door installed? Until Jan. 1, these minor jobs can be performed by anyone — no registration or bond required. However, starting in 2015, all construction contractors will require registration and bonding, regardless of the size or type of work performed, according to a press release from the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development 

State law currently exempts work in a number of categories, including jobs less than $10,000.  In a move designed to provide consumer protection to Alaskans, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 193 extending the bonding requirement to all construction contractors — including those often known as “handymen” who work on smaller jobs, said the press release. 

While many handymen don’t consider themselves construction contractors, Alaska Statute currently defines a contractor as “a person who, in the pursuit of an independent business, undertakes or offers to perform, or claims to have the capacity to perform, or submits a bid for a project to construct, alter, repair, move, or demolish a building, highway, road, railroad, or any type of fixed structure, including excavation and site development and erection of scaffolding” (AS 08.18.171(4)).  

According to the new law, regardless of the size of the job, any business or person that advertises as performing this type of work must be registered, bonded and insured.

The new law also increases bonding requirements for all construction contractors, providing additional recourse for consumers who feel they have not received the work for which they paid. SB 193 received broad support from Alaska construction industry associations, who stated the increase underscores the integrity and public expectation of the profession. 

Information on these requirements is available on the division’s web site at http://commerce.state.ak.us/dnn/cbpl/ProfessionalLicensing/ConstructionContractors.aspx.