While licensing isn't required for most basic home improvement jobs, tasks that involve electrical work or plumbing typically require a licensed contractor, according to Angie's List. Actual licensing requirements vary from state to state.
Larger projects that involve multiple workers and machinery, such as the remodel of an entire kitchen or bathroom, are also likely to require licensed contractors at the helm, notes Angie's List. If work is done by an unlicensed handyman, the homeowner may be liable for any damages or may have to have the work redone in order to sell the home. Angie's List provides an online tool that allows users to look up whether a specific home improvement job requires licensing in their state and to confirm a contractor's license status.