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Check the License First, and Other Requirements!


Check The License First

Anytime you hire a contractor to provide service into your home, it can be a very stressful, and confusing process. There are many laws established by the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) to protect consumers and their home. The first step you should take before hiring a contractor is to check the license first. The CSLB has a very easy, user-friendly link on their website to check for licensing, bond, insurance requirements and also the history of any complaints or compliance issues against their license. You will have the ability to pull up their profile and ensure that, the license is active and do your homework. They CSLB states that the contractor has to advertise their license number clearly, on all business cards, vehicles, etc. If you’re using a licensed company you should be able to locate it easily. If you cannot, just ask.

Workers Compensation

CSLB requirements state that whenever a company has a single employee other than an owner or shareholder over a certain percentage, that workers compensation insurance is required. This protects their employee in the event of an accident while on the worksite. So why should workers compensation be important to you, the homeowner? Let’s say that you hire a contractor to complete a job at your home. During this process of completing the work, their employee becomes seriously injured. The employee can then sue you, the property owner. for any injury or damage that was caused to them while performing service on your property. Hiring a company or contractor that has followed the requirements to secure workers compensation insurance is necessary to secure one of your largest investments….your home.

Unlicensed Contractors

When it comes to an agreement of price or service, the CSLB states that any persons performing work unlicensed, CANNOT contract any work over $500+. This includes work completed by your local, friendly handyman. Many licensed companies can hire employees to perform and contract work under the company license. The individual employees do not have to carry an individual contractors license unless once again, the work is being contracted for more than $500. In that case, the requirement of the CSLB is for each service/ sales employee to complete a criminal background check, which includes a live scan with the Department of Justice. Upon clearance from DOJ, the employee will be issued a Home Improvement Sales Person’s license with the CSLB. Keep this in mind, when a contract agreement is being presented to you in the future for over $500.

Paying Deposits For Service

Contractor law states that in the event of collecting a deposit for an agreed contract of service, the contractor cannot collect more than 10% of the total contract price. This is not to exceed $1000. If you have a contractor requesting more than $1000 before any work has started, then you should reconsider doing business with that contractor or company altogether. A reputable company should be able to carry the cost of job materials throughout the service process. This is only to protect, YOU, the property owner.