“Measure twice and cut once” is a good rule carpenters use to get a cut right. Getting the right information in the highly complex license regulations that ‘rule’a contractor’s world is also essential. We ‘take-off’ with a mix of ‘half and half’ questions that help illustrate why contractors should consider expert assistance in following the rules different states require…
Q: My Company installs passenger-boarding bridges at airports. They are prefabricated steel bridges that go between the airport terminal building and the airplanes. I’ve gone through the list and definitions of the CSLB classifications and I’m thinking that we would need either the “D-21” (Machinery and Pumps) or a “C-51” (Structural Steel) license to perform this work in California. Can you give me an opinion on what you believe is the appropriate classification?
A: You are halfway to the right answer! It appears that some contractors still are licensed for this work with a “D-21” class. However, in consulting with the CSLB, that is no longer the practice. These two classifications are what they say would be appropriate for this type of work, either the “C-51” Structural Steel classification, as you suggested, or the “D-34” (Prefabricated Equipment).
Q: I previously had licenses in California and Nevada and I let them both lapse. The California license has been expired since June 2012 and the Nevada license expired in August 2012. Can I renew the licenses or will I be required to re-apply and re-take the exams?
A: I’ll start with the good news: you can renew your CA license and you will not be required to re-take the exams. Once a CA license expires, you have up to five years to renew the license without re-testing. Nevada also allows five years to go by before you are required to re-take the exams, however the bad news is that once a Nevada license has been expired for a period of six months, you can no longer renew the license and you are required to re-apply for a new license number. This will involve paying the license application fee, providing new financial information, and all individuals listed on the application will be required to get fingerprinted.
Q: We are licensed General contractors with a “B”. We are considering self-performing the Plumbing and HVAC trades for projects on which we are the General contractor. Does the CSLB require us to additionally have a “C-20” and a “C-36” license, or may we perform this work under our “B” license?
A: As a “B” contractor, you are able to self-perform the HVAC and plumbing work without obtaining the additional specialty classifications. B&P Code Section 7057 addresses this topic and states that a “B” contractor must perform “at least two unrelated building trades or crafts other than framing or carpentry”. Plumbing and HVAC are considered two unrelated trades so you are good to go!
Contractor’s Note: In a recent newsletter the CSLB reminds contractors to pull building permits to avoid license penalties. As things heat up, pulling permits is especially important for “C-20” (HVAC) contractors whose work must also meet Home Energy Rating System (HERS) tests to comply with state Building Energy Efficiency standards.
The CSLB is now working with the California Energy Commission to ensure compliance through enhanced enforcement efforts to ensure that contractors are following state contracting laws, and HVAC contractors may be targeted in these stings.