Roofing, General Licenses & Qualifiers

While my focus is assisting contractors, particularly those who have run into difficulty through government regulation or licensing, more and more consumers are using the Internet for research when they need to hire a builder. As both contractors and consumers may know, working through ANY government regulations is not going to be easy or quick. That’s why there are experts in many fields whose sole purpose is to help navigate and interpret those complex rules…

Q: I found this answer on Capitol Services web site and I had a similar question about contractors doing roofs. Your response in part was as follows: “…However, based on the stated facts, the contractor does not appear to have the correct license. To perform roofing ONLY on a given project, a General Building contractor should either hold a “C-39” classification or hire a licensed “C-39” subcontractor”.

So, are you saying that if I hire a contractor who only has a “B” license and he doesn’t use a sub with a “C-39” license, will my roof be illegal? We are having a roof put on our house in Los Angeles County soon and I’m in the process of getting bids. If the contractor’s license states he is exempt from Worker’s Comp because he states all his employees are family, then if he does have someone (who is not family) work on my house and I don’t know it, could I be liable if they get hurt?

A: By definition, a General building contractor should be handling two or more unrelated trades on a given project or subcontract the work to a licensed specialty contractor (in your case a “C-39” roofing contractor). If you were to use a “B” who is performing the work, it would not mean your roof would be ‘illegal’, only that the contractor may be working improperly.

If he is exempt from Worker’s Compensation insurance, but still “employs a non-family member” you could be liable if they get hurt — even if you are unaware. Ask to see a copy of the contractor’s Worker’s Comp certificate and check carefully with the CSLB that it is still valid. In reality, chances are to do a complete tear-off and re-roofing, there will be at least one employee who should be covered.

Whether a “B” hires a “C-39”, or you hire a roofer directly, please note that all “C-39” contractors must carry adequate Worker’s Compensation insurance coverage for their employees (or a Certificate of Self-Insurance). They cannot file an “Exemption”.

Q: I have a “C-17” (Glazing) license that I just activated. The thing is that I’m setting up a commercial glass shop for a good friend of mine that started a company out-of-state but wants to do work in California.

What is the best way to get my license in his name, or make me a Responsible Managing Employee (RME) or a Responsible Managing Officer (RMO)? I’ve been trying to understand the Contractors State License Board forms, but it only confuses the hell out of me.

A: If you want to help your friend to get a contractor’s license in CA, have him first decide how he wants to conduct business (corporation, partnership or sole owner). Once this decision is made, you’ll be able to better determine your options on becoming his Qualifier. For instance, as a sole owner, you can ONLY be a RME. If a corporation, you have the option of being a RME or RMO. If you form a partnership, you can be the “Qualifying partner” or RME.

The CSLB paperwork and overall licensing process can often be confusing. For instance, depending on your title and percentage of ownership, you may need to INACTIVATE the “C-17” license you just re-activated. Call me and I’ll be happy to discuss your options and help you navigate through the CSLB forms.

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