H. B. 2538
(By Delegates Nichols and Kallai)
[Introduced February 17, 1995; referred to the
Committee on Industry and Labor then Government
A BILL to amend and reenact section three, article eleven,
chapter twenty-one of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to
increasing the cost limit under which contractors may work
without a license.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section three, article eleven, chapter twenty-one of
the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one,
as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 11. WEST VIRGINIA CONTRACTOR LICENSING ACT.
(a) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of the division of labor.
(b) "Board" means the West Virginia contractor licensing
(c) "Contractor" means a person who in any capacity for
compensation, other than as an employee of another, undertakes,
offers to undertake, purports to have the capacity to undertake,
or submits a bid to construct, alter, repair, add to, subtract
from, improve, move, wreck or demolish any building, highway,
road, railroad, structure or excavation associated with a
project, development or improvement, or to do any part thereof,
including the erection of scaffolding or other structures or
works in connection therewith, where the cost of the undertaking
one thousand seven thousand five hundred dollars or more.
Contractor includes a construction manager who performs
management and counseling services for a construction project for
a professional fee.
Contractor does not include:
(1) One who merely furnishes materials or supplies without
fabricating or consuming them in the construction project;
(2) A person who personally performs construction work on the site of real property which the person owns or leases whether
for commercial or residential purposes;
(3) A person who is licensed or registered as a professional
and who functions under the control of any other licensing or
regulatory board, whose primary business is real estate sales,
appraisal, development, management and maintenance, who acting in
his or her respective professional capacity and any employee of
such professional, acting in the course of his or her employment,
performs any work which may be considered to be performing
contracting work; or
(4) A corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship whose
primary purpose is to prepare construction plans and
specifications used by the contractors defined in subsection (c)
of this section and who employs full time a registered architect
licensed to practice in this state or a registered professional
engineer licensed to practice in this state. Employees of such
corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship shall also be
exempt from the requirements of this article.
(d) "Electrical contractor" means a person who engages in
the business of contracting to install, erect, repair or alter electrical equipment for the generation, transmission or
utilization of electrical energy.
(e) "General building contractor" means a person whose
principal business is in connection with any structures built,
being built or to be built for the support, shelter and enclosure
of persons, animals, chattels or movable property of any kind,
requiring in the construction the use of more than two contractor
classifications, or a person who supervises the whole or any part
of such construction.
(f) "General engineering contractor" means a person whose
principal business is in connection with public or private works
projects, including, but not limited to, one or more of the
following: Irrigation, drainage and water supply projects;
electrical generation projects; swimming pools; flood control;
harbors; railroads; highways; tunnels; airports and airways;
sewers and sewage disposal systems; bridges; inland waterways;
pipelines for transmission of petroleum and other liquid or
gaseous substances; refineries; chemical plants and other
industrial plants requiring a specialized engineering knowledge
and skill; piers and foundations; and structures or work incidental thereto.
(g) "Heating, ventilating and cooling contractor" means a
person who engages in the business of contracting to install,
erect, repair, service or alter heating, ventilating and air
conditioning equipment or systems to heat, cool or ventilate
residential and commercial structures.
(h) "License" means a license to engage in business in this
state as a contractor in one of the classifications set out in
(i) "Multifamily contractor" means a person who is engaged
in construction, repair or improvement of a multifamily
(j) "Person" includes an individual, firm, sole
proprietorship, partnership, corporation, association or other
entity engaged in the undertaking of construction projects or any
(k) "Piping contractor" means a person whose principal
business is the installation of process, power plant, air, oil,
gasoline, chemical or other kinds of piping; and boilers and
pressure vessels using joining methods of thread, weld, solvent weld or mechanical methods.
(l) "Plumbing contractor" means a person whose principal
business is the installation, maintenance, extension and
alteration of piping, plumbing fixtures, plumbing appliances and
plumbing appurtenances, venting systems and public or private
water supply systems within or adjacent to any building or
structure; included in this definition is installation of gas
piping, chilled water piping in connection with refrigeration
processes and comfort cooling, hot water piping in connection
with building heating, and piping for stand pipes.
(m) "Residential contractor" means a person whose principal
business is in connection with construction, repair or
improvement of real property used as, or intended to be used for,
(n) "Specialty contractor" means a person who engages in
specialty contracting services which do not substantially fall
within the scope of any contractor classification as set out
(o) "Residential occupancy" means occupancy of a structure
for residential purposes for periods greater than thirty consecutive calendar days.
(p) "Residential structure" means a building or structure
used or intended to be used for residential occupancy, together
with related facilities appurtenant to the premises as an adjunct
of residential occupancy, which contains not more than three
distinct floors which are above grade in any structural unit
regardless of whether the building or structure is designed and
constructed for one or more living units. Dormitories, hotels,
motels or other transient lodging units are not residential
(q) "Subcontractor" means a person who performs a portion of
a project undertaken by a principal or general contractor or
(r) "Division" means the division of labor.
(s) "Cease and desist order" means an order issued by the
commissioner pursuant to the provisions of this article.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to increase the limit
under which contractors do not need a license.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.