What Kind of Contractor Do You Need?
In the state of California there are 43 classifications of licenses. These range from general contractors, to plumbers to landscapers. Your job will run much smoother if you identify the correct type of contractor you need in advance. You can look at a list of classifications at the California State License Board.
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-lineor call 1-800-321-CSLB (2752).
Hiring unlicensed individuals can be risky business. You have very limited recourse in the event they do not finish the job or do sub-standard work. You will want to read the article “How to choose a contractor” Additionally, you could be held liable in the event the unlicensed person is injured while on your property. 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.
Determining the type of contractor you need can help avoid headaches during your project.
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.
A General building contractor will generally oversee projects and coordinate sub-contractors for a job. The general contractor may also do specialty work, but must hold that license as well. The exception is if the job includes more than one type of trade. For example, if you are doing a bathroom remodel which includes plumbing, electrical and carpentry work, the general contractor can do all the work or subcontract out the specialties.
A subcontractor is a specialty contractor and are hired to perform a specific portion of a job. An example would be when a general contractor hires a plumber to do all the plumbing work, and a heating contractor to do all the HVAC work.
List Of Licensing Classifications:
C-2 - Insulation and Acoustical Contractor
C-4 - Boiler, Hot Water Heating and Steam Fitting Contractor
C-5 - Framing and Rough Carpentry Contractor
C-6 - Cabinet, Millwork and Finish Carpentry Contractor
C-7 - Low Voltage Systems Contractor
C-8 - Concrete Contractor
C-9 - Drywall Contractor
C10 - Electrical Contractor
C11 - Elevator Contractor
C12 - Earthwork and Paving Contractors
C13 - Fencing Contractor
C14 - Metal Roofing Contractor [repealed]
C15 - Flooring and Floor Covering Contractors
C16 - Fire Protection Contractor
C17 - Glazing Contractor
C20 - Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Contractor
C21 - Building Moving/Demolition Contractor
C23 - Ornamental Metal Contractor
C26 - Lathing Contractor [repealed]
C27 - Landscaping Contractor
C28 - Lock and Security Equipment Contractor
C29 - Masonry Contractor
C31 - Construction Zone Traffic Control Contractor
C32 - Parking and Highway Improvement Contractor
C33 - Painting and Decorating Contractor
C34 - Pipeline Contractor
C35 - Lathing and Plastering Contractor
C36 - Plumbing Contractor
C38 - Refrigeration Contractor
C39 - Roofing Contractor
C42 - Sanitation System Contractor
C43 - Sheet Metal Contractor
C45 - Sign Contractor
C46 - Solar Contractor
C47 - General Manufactured Housing Contractor
C50 - Reinforcing Steel Contractor
C51 - Structural Steel Contractor
C53 - Swimming Pool Contractor
C54 - Ceramic and Mosaic Tile Contractor
C55 - Water Conditioning Contractor
C57 - Water Well Drilling Contractor
C60 - Welding Contractor
C61 - Limited Specialty
ASB - Asbestos Certification
HAZ - Hazardous Substance Removal Certification