California law is clear. Any landscaping or construction work with a value of $500 or more for labor and materials MUST be performed by a licensed contractor. Why is it important to hire only state licensed contractors?
When a business or homeowner hires a licensed contractor, the state of California is ensuring that:
1. The contractor has demonstrated adequate knowledge and journeyman experience of their trade.
2. The contractor has passed an extensive background check that ensures they have not committed fraud or violent crimes in the past.
3. A performance bond is posted from all licensed contractors. That performance bond guarantees the client will have financial recourse if the contract is not completed to specifications or code.
Contracting without a license is a crime. Unlicensed contractors are ignoring state law and their professional duties. Clients should be wary of such “professionals.” These independent contractors undercut fully licensed businesses by offering cheap services while cutting corners on standard business practices, like paying taxes or providing workers’ compensation insurance.
The Contractors’ State Licensing Board has an informative and useful website for checking licenses and reporting unlicensed activity at http://www.cslb.ca.gov/ Be sure to support fully licensed contractors for your next home improvement.