The Contractors State License Board has a few tips on how to avoid unlicensed violators known to prey on vulnerable and unsuspecting homeowners who are involved in new home or home improvement projects.

  • Hire only licensed contractors

  • Check licenses at www.cslb.ca.gov.

  • Get three references and review past work.

  • Get a written contract.

  • Don't pay cash.

  • Don't let payment get ahead of work.

  • Be aware there is no such thing as a handyman license.

    The law:

  • Any job estimated at more than $500 must be performed by someone with a state license.

  • Contractors must place their license number in print, broadcast and online advertisements. Those without a license can advertise to perform jobs valued at less than $500, but the ad must state that they are not licensed.

  • A down payment cannot exceed 10 percent of the contract total or $1,000, whichever is less.

  • State authorities can halt job site activity when any person with or without a contractor license does not have workers' compensation insurance coverage for employees.

    To view a list of the CSLB's Most Wanted visit: http://www.cslb.ca.gov/generalinformation/newsroom/mostwanted/



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