In California, anyone offering home improvement services must be licensed if the project will entail at least $500 worth of work from start to finish. The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) issues contractor licenses, enforces contracting laws and resolves disputes related to contractors working in California. Here are some quick facts: Read more
We break down the steps for hiring a kitchen and bath contractor with this handy infographic. We hope you find it helpful, and let us know how your kitchen or bathroom remodel goes! Read more
The recent wildfires destroyed thousands of homes and businesses in Northern California and left others in need of urgent repairs. With their lives upended, many residents are looking to start over and return to their former routines as quickly as possible. But those rebuilding after the wildfires need to move cautiously, as conditions are ripe for contractor scams. Unfortunately, history has shown that after a catastrophe, there are many bad actors ready and willing to take advantage of the vulnerable.
Contractors (especially good ones) are in high demand following a disaster. At the same time, there’s a lot of money available to the construction industry due to payouts from insurance policies and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Read more
Do you know how to spot an unlicensed contractor? Watch this video for some helpful tips. Read more
Picture a previously convicted unlicensed contractor who pled guilty to six felony charges, including elder abuse, grand theft and diversion of construction funds. Does this sound like someone you’d want to hire to work on your home? Of course not…but the man described above currently has an active arrest warrant for failure to appear in court, which means he’s still at large and could potentially prey on vulnerable, unsuspecting homeowners. Read more
Even the most reputable contractors can find themselves in financial trouble without warning. I knew of one who lost everything when his son died unexpectedly. His son’s hospital bills and funeral/burial costs became too much, and while he had every intention of maintaining high standards for his clients, he eventually lost the liquidity necessary to keep their projects running ahead of their payments. That’s why it’s such a bad idea to allow payments to get ahead of progress…no matter what. To determine if your project is in trouble, look for the following warning signs:
- The contractor starts asking for progress payments ahead of progress, saying things like, “I need you to pay x amount of money so I can order something.” While this may be common for securing pre-fab orders like kitchen cabinets,
Good general contractors are good managers of not only their talent, but also their money and their clients’ priorities and expectations. The best don’t mind an opportunity to set upfront expectations with serious customers. Here are three questions you can ask that will give you some insight on your prospective contractor:
1. Can you give me an example of a conflict that came up on a recent job and describe how you resolved it? Murphy’s Law works on building projects just as well as anywhere else. You can tell a lot about a person by how fair-minded they are when they retell a conflict resolution story.
2. Will you work until my project is finished, Read more