I’ve always said perception is 90% reality. Or, simply your viewpoint is always what drives your opinions, decisions and, as humans, your emotions.
When I am asked for answers by contractors, lawyers and others about licensing law and how it’s interpreted that viewpoint, or that perception, is always important. After this first question it’s ‘back to the future’ as we again look at the “C-10” certification. Finally, when is a license class not a license class?
Q: I’m an attorney and have recently done some legal research on what the general building contractor (“B” license) can and cannot perform. Based on several court cases, it appears there were some changes over the past decade as it relates to how many specialty trades the “B” must perform on a prime contract.
In a 2005 case, a general contractor hired various “C” subcontractors, but also did concrete site work, framing, stucco, drywall, and other specialty license work. I know that a general building contractor may perform framing and rough carpentry work (see B&P section 7057), but can the general building contractor through his employees perform concrete (“C-8”), lath and stucco (“C-35”), drywall (“C-9”) and other specialty trades?
A: A general building contractor can self-perform or sub-contract any number of trades on a given project. The key here is the “contract”, not whether the work is self-performed. Using your example, it would be proper for the “B” to use his employees for the concrete, drywall, stucco, framing and other specialty work. It would also have been proper for the “B” contractor to sub-contract all trades except for concrete, or drywall or plastering (“C-35”).
Section 7057 states in part that “a general building contractor shall not take a prime contract for any project involving trades other than framing or carpentry unless the prime contract requires at least two unrelated building trades or crafts”. There is no mention in 7057 of the work being self-performed through the contractor’s employees or sub-contracted to licensed subs. An exception is made that allows the “B” to take a project for framing or carpentry ONLY but he may not count framing or carpentry in calculating the “two unrelated trades”.
Q: You recently wrote about employees of “C-10” contractors needing to get certified by the Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS). I have a “C-20” (HVAC) license and must perform electrical work as part of the installation process. Are my employees also required to become certified because they handle electrical wiring?
A: NO. DAS regulations ONLY pertain to the “C-10” (electrical) trade. Journeymen electricians and other covered employees working for “C-10” contractors are required to go through the certification process but no mention is made of other classifications. Therefore, general builders, HVAC, solar (“C-46”) and other trades are exempt from these regulations.
Q: I have a “C-61” Limited Specialty license to install metal products (“D-24”). My company would like to expand do other specialty work such as installing store fixtures and sealing concrete surfaces. I understand the Contractors Board has many “C-61” classifications. Could you tell me if these are covered?
A: The CSLB has 30 “C-61” Limited Specialties. Over the years, these various subcategories of the “C-61” have been developed by Board Staff and approved by the CSLB as policy. The two specialties you mentioned are covered by the “D-34” (prefabricated equipment) and “D-06” (concrete related services). If you have at least 4 years experience in these areas, you should be able to qualify for these additional subcategories with no further testing. This is true for all “C-61” licenses since this exam was eliminated over 3 years ago. For a free comprehensive listing of “C-61” specialties, call my office at 916-443-0657 or email firstname.lastname@example.org