Qualifier Back up for “A” Contractors

The Boy Scout’s motto is ‘Be Prepared’ and a contractor has taken that theme to heart in our question and answer session. If your license depends on a qualifier, what’s your ‘fall back’ plan if they leave? Should you be ‘alarmed’ if the person installing your security system is not a licensed contractor? Construction is a ‘family’ affair as one contractor’s son wants to know if he can be ‘grandfathered’ on his Dad’s license?…

Q: I have a “C-33” license. Can I do interior demolition of a bathroom and kitchen and install new drywall in addition to painting?

A: The “C-33” painting classification allows you to texture and repaint existing drywall and handle incidental repairs prior to applying the paint. It does not allow you to demolish the entire interior of the room and install new gypsum board. Demolishing a structure’s interior requires a “C-21” while drywall installation needs a “C-9”.

Q: Our current license in California is a “C-61” specialty. We want to add a back up qualifier onto that license allowing the company an alternative if our current qualifier quit or somehow becomes unable to qualify in the future. It appears that California may not allow a back up qualifier and if that is the case can we get a second license or what would your suggestion be? I appreciate any insight you can provide us with on the situation.

A: Thank you for the email. Since CA will not allow two people to qualify the same classification on the same license, obtaining a ‘back-up’ license is a good idea. Typically the ‘back-up’ qualifier would apply for an inactive sole owner license. With an inactive license no bond or Worker’s Comp is required. The license sits idle and the qualifier can quickly replace someone who “quits or somehow becomes unable to qualify in the future”. Note, rarely will the CSLB approve a second corporate license for the same company and identical classification.

Q: Does someone who installs alarm systems need to have a contractor’s license if they are registered with the State Security and Investigation Bureau?

A: Any person who performs installation, maintenance, alteration, or servicing of alarm systems would not require a contractor’s license if they hold a valid alarm company operator license issued by the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (like the CSLB, this is another State Consumer Affairs agency).

Q: My father had an “A” license for several years and passed away about four years ago. I had heard that I can be “grandfathered” in to his license. I currently work with an Engineering firm and this would aid in some of our projects that require an “A” contractor’s license. Thanks in advance for your help.

A: The law, which allows an immediate member of the family to be “grandfathered” in, would not apply in this situation. You are referring to Code Section 7065.1, which would require that you have worked with your father full-time in the family business for 5 of the past 7 years immediately preceding your application for a new license. Since he passed away 4 years ago, the waiver (i.e. grandfathering) option is unavailable.