It is illegal to contract with an unlicensed contractor in California when the construction work is valued at more than $500 combined labor and materials. The law provides several protections for homeowners when they deal with a licensed contractor. A licensed contractor is required to carry a $10,000 bond. Additionally, the State License Board carefully monitors the activity and ethics of the licensed contractors.
A Contractor’s Bond protects the customer. Should your contractor cause damage, not fulfill their end of the agreement, be paid in excess for the amount of work completed, or take a deposit and then disappear, a Contractor’s Bond will pay out up to $10,000. The bonding company will then use their resources to recoup this money from the contractor. The Bond also protects against theft by the contractor.
While all licensed contractors are required to carry a bond they are not required to carry liability insurance. Many things can happen while a contractor is working on your property, including structural, cosmetic or property damage, as well as bodily injury of non-employees. Should your contractor not have insurance, you become the liable party.
As you can imagine, construction is a high-risk profession where workers are injured more frequently relative to other lines of work. And of course the cost of medical care is ever increasing. Should your contractor not carry workers compensation insurance, it becomes your liability to cover the medical expenses for injured workers on your property. While a contractor with employees is required to carry insurance, many don’t.
You should have as clear and concise an idea as possible of your project before you begin new construction or remodeling work. Your contractor can definitely give you a variety of ideas, but the project is your dream and you should define it fully and carefully. You will be more successful and satisfied upon completion when you start with a good plan.
It is not uncommon for a contractor to present an initial “estimate” for a job with many items not included in order to submit a low price. This approach generally results in a final cost that far exceeds the original estimate. Current Construction does not follow this methodology as it lacks integrity. We will provide you with as exact cost as possible, based on a detailed Scope of Work that we will stand behind. Of course unforeseen issues – excavation problems, termite damage, wood rot, foundation issues, etc. – will often require change orders. However, we will always stand behind our Scope of Work price.
Current Construction does not work with verbal agreements. When you want something to happen we will put it in writing. This policy protects both property owner and our company. Documented confirmation is a great communication device when the scope-of-work or materials are amended in writing, as such adjustments generally involve a change in price.
Contractors often schedule payments for a certain time frame, perhaps every Friday, regardless of progress. Some even set payments in a way to get money before a substantial amount of work is completed. Current Constructions chooses to schedule payments based upon certain completion points, and when able, upon passing inspections.
California law requires licensed contractors to provide a one-year guarantee of their work. Sadly, many contractors never revisit their completed jobs because their livelihood is focused on their current jobs. Current Construction proactively performs a follow up visit within 30-days after completion and then remains ready to respond to problems or issues that arise at any time during the warranty period.