General Contractor Requirements in California

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According to the State of California, if you are constructing or altering any building, highway, road, parking facility, railroad, excavation, or other structure then you must be licensed. General contractors in California are well tested and proven in the field of construction. These requirements are mainly for safety. If you are hiring a licensed general contractor then you can be assured that they meet strict requirements and levels of experience at a minimum. In this article, we will help you to better understand the training, testing and other requirements that your contractor will need to possess in order to be licensed in the golden state.

When Are You Required to Use a General Contractor in California?

Are you considering a rather sizable home renovation or repair in California that will cost at or above 500 dollars? If you are, then you will need to work with a licensed contractor in order to complete the job legally. This cannot be broken down into smaller parts in order to make the job seem smaller than this price point either, so be warned if a handyman attempts to do this as they may just well be attempting to circumvent the long arm of the law. There are some instances where the law will allow for “owner-builders” but you must be properly licensed if that structure is housing people or animals.

Qualifications to be a Licenced Contractor

In order to become a licensed contractor, the individual or entity must do a few things. This process is meant to weed out the inexperienced, dangerous and ill-qualified individuals. Some of those steps include:

  1. Experience: Each applicant must have at least four years of experience as a construction professional in their chosen specialty in order to apply to become a general contractor.
  2. Insurance: All potential contractors whether they be a business or individual must possess at minimum 100 thousand dollars worth of liability insurance.
  3. Background Check: Each applicant will have to inform the State of California of any convictions as well as undergo a background check and disclose any criminal history.
  4. Exam: Each contractor will have to study to ensure that they are able to pass the state-administered contractors exam.

Finding a Reputable Contractor in California

Finding a well qualified, reliable and trustworthy general contractor in Los Angeles is not as difficult as you would think. Here are a few steps to help you to ensure that you are going with the right professional.

  • References and Reviews: You can find reviews on many sites online. Also, when choosing your contractor speak with friends and family members about their recommendations.
  • Look up their license: Trust their word, but verify.
  • Examples of work: Ask your chosen contractor to provide you with examples of the exact work that you are seeking to have done.
  • Multiple Estimates: It is recommended to have at least three estimates before you move forward with a general contractor. This is a customary practice.

Once you have completed these steps, you can be much more certain that you can trust your general contractor to competently and professionally handle your job.