A Landscape Contractor

A pat on the back is often the best praise, and I thank our first contractor for his. I will also help a landscape contractor with a ‘swimming’ lesson before sharing some news from CSLB about protecting seniors from fraudulent, unlicensed work…

Q: To begin, I’d like to commend you on your columns! They are very informative. I hold a Class “B” contractor’s license and have acted as a Responsible Managing Employee (RME) for our construction company for several years. A friend in the construction industry recently informed me that an RME had the ability to negotiate a fee for the use of their license in addition to or as part of their salary. Is this correct? If so, where would I find sample data to calculate this potential fee?

A: I have been asked this question several times before, but do not know if I have ever published a response. There is nothing in the CSLB rules or regulations that addresses your “ability to negotiate a fee for use of your license”. As such, I would not know where to direct you to calculate this “fee”. As the Responsible Managing Employee –or any employee of a company — your employer ultimately determines your salary. Sometimes this is negotiated and if you hold the license, this should be of some added value to the company.

You may want to approach your employer regarding this potential value however, a word of warning. Depending on the company’s position, there may be other qualifying individuals waiting in the wings. Good luck with your negotiations.

Q: I have been on hold with the CSLB for over thirty minutes three times before finally giving up. Can you tell me if I can sub-contract out pool work to a “C-53” contractor? I am a “C-27” landscape contractor and have designed pools and spas. Now some homeowners want me to handle the work and pull the required permits.

A: If you are doing a landscaping project that includes a pool or spa, you can sub this out to a licensed swimming pool contractor. According to the CSLB, you cannot just take a pool contract by itself and self-perform or sub out the work to a “C-53”. If you have been designing and “building” pools for 4 of the prior 10 years, you may want to consider applying for an additional “C-53” classification. Since building permits are covered by local governmental agencies, I would check with them regarding whether you and/or the “C-53” can pull the permit.

The CSLB has taken the lead in protecting seniors from unscrupulous or illegal individuals. The “unlicensed contractor” is the focus of the Board’s “Senior Scam Stopper” Program, a partnership with various community and public agencies to inform and empower seniors to fight fraud. They have sponsored seminars throughout the State and set up panels of experts including representatives from local law enforcement, and the AARP.

In recent months co-sponsors have included Humboldt State University, Foster City Building Department, the Santa Clara Library and Assembly Member Lois Wolk who represents Solano and Yolo Counties. Contact the CSLB if you would like to co-sponsor a seminar in your community or let me know and I would be happy to pass the information on to their Enforcement Division and Public Affairs Office.

Remember a topic in a past column but cannot recall when it appeared? Now at www.cutredtape.com , readers can search nearly a decade of prior ‘Capitol Connection’ columns by KEYWORD. This column has always been about helping the contractor. Now it is even more user friendly.