Archive for the ‘Hiring A Contractor’ Category

What Kind of Contractor Do You Need

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

What Kind of Contractor Do You Need?

This step helps you get started determining what type of contractor you need, and making sure they are qualified and properly licensed.

Here are some guidelines to use when you begin searching for licensed contractors. By using them, and the other steps that follow, you could save yourself from financial risk and other future problems with unlicensed contractors.

Determine what type of contractor you need.

In California, anyone who contracts to perform work on a project that is valued at $500 or more for labor and materials must hold a current, valid license from the CSLB. You can verify the license on-line or call 1-800-321-CSLB (2752).

Alert symbolALERT Be advised that unlicensed individuals pose a risk to you and your family’s financial security. They expose you to significant financial harm in the event that a worker is injured while on your property, if your property is damaged, if the work is incomplete and/or faulty. Few, if any, unlicensed individual has bonding or workers’ compensation insurance. The quality of their work usually doesn’t compare to that of a licensed contractor. Don’t take the chance in order to save a few dollars. You’ll probably end up paying more in the long run.

The CSLB licenses contractors in 43 different classifications. This ranges from general contractors to swimming pool contractors, landscapers, painters, electricians, plumbers and many more. It will be easier to decide the right type of contractor if you carefully plan your project in advance and clearly define what you want done to your property.

Understanding the difference between a general and specialty contractor.

General building contractors usually oversee projects and coordinate the specific licensed subcontractors for a job. Specialty or subcontractors are usually hired to perform a single job. For example, if you want only roofing or plumbing work, you may want to hire a contractor licensed in that particular specialty.

A general building contractor may also contract for specialty work, but must hold a specialty license for that work or actually have a specialty contractor do the work. The only exception is if the job requires more than two types of work on a building. Then it is appropriate for a licensed general building contractor to contract for and oversee the entire project. For example, if your kitchen remodeling will involve plumbing, electrical and carpentry work under one contract, you should hire a licensed general building contractor. Under these circumstances, a general building contractor may perform all of the work on a building, or subcontract parts of the job to contractors with specialty licenses.

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Hire A Licensed Contractor

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

Hire a Licensed Contractor

The sections listed below will help you select the right licensed contractor for your home improvement needs.  The Resources on the right give you more information on the risks you might face along the way.  You can also download or order CSLB publications and videos and connect with other agencies that may be of assistance to you.

Check a License or Home Improvement Salesperson (HIS) Registration

Look-up a Licensed Contractor or a Salesperson’s Registration to verify information and find out about any complaints disclosed.

What kind of contractor do I need?

This step helps you get started determining what type of contractor you need, and making sure they are qualified and properly licensed.

How do I find the right licensed contractor?

This step highlights some of the different things you can do to help you find the right licensed contractor.

What should I look for in contract and binding agreements?

This step helps you understand contract and binding agreements with your contractor.

Do I need a building permit for my project?

This step guides you to your local building department.  There are numerous building departments in California.

Swimming Pool Construction

This section briefly describes how to hire a swimming pool contractor, how to manage the project and other issues that may surface before during and after construction.

Learn About Home Improvement Contracts

It explains what is required in a contract and what you as a consumer should look for before signing any kind of legal paperwork with a contractor.

What Seniors Should Know

This section provides information to protect Seniors when hiring contractors.

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