Qualifiers & Ownership, “C-4” or “C-20”, “C-35” or “C-9” & Swimming Pools

Like The Professor and Sherman from those old cartoon reruns, we fire up the ‘way back’ machine for a contractor’s question. A couple of contractors who’ve reached their ‘boiling point’ on bids need a short answer, and a long one. A General discovers they can play, but not get in the ‘pool’ alone…

Q:  You helped me get my license way back when and I have been the Responsible Managing Officer (RMO) for many, many years.  As I get closer to retiring, I am becoming less involved in the day-to-day operations of the company.  I am ready to pass the RMO torch to one of my employees and have him be the new qualifying individual.  I still have ownership in the company so my question is if I remove myself as the RMO, how does that affect my interest in the company?  I won’t be fully retired for another year or two.

A:  It’s great to hear from you again.  Changing the Qualifier on the license does not affect the ownership structure of the company.  You can even remain as an Officer on the license. Go ahead and pass the torch and of course contact us if you’d like help with the process!

Q:  My company has a “C-20” (HVAC) license and we do energy upgrades on homes. Part of this work sometimes involves replacing the boilers.  Recently another contractor told me I couldn’t do the boiler work unless we held a “C-4” Boiler classification.  Can you tell me if that’s correct?

A: A “C-20” HVAC contractor can replace boilers as long as it’s part of a heating system. They can not do just boiler replacement alone.

Q: I am a “C-35” Plastering contractor and I’m losing work to another contractor in the area who is a “C-9”Drywall contractor.  He is bidding on and signing contracts for drywall and plaster jobs and then subbing out the plastering to another “C-35” contractor.  Can a drywall contractor sign a contract for Plaster license work?

A: It all depends on the project.  In some cases the CSLB has determined that a specialty contractor can sign contracts involving trades outside of their specialty, and sub-contract the work to a properly licensed contractor if the work to be done is incidental and supplemental to the work being performed within their specialty trade.    In this case, if the plastering work is necessary in order to complete the drywall project then it is acceptable to take the job and then sub out the plaster part of the project.  However, if the drywall and plasterwork are two distinct jobs which can be performed separately (such as drywall inside a residential home and plaster outside of the home), then the drywall contractor should not be including that work in his/her contract.

Q:  I have a “B” General Building license and one of my customers would like me to put a pool in their backyard.  Since building a pool involves more than two unrelated trades, am I allowed to do this project for them?

A:  Although building a pool involves two or more unrelated trades, a General Building contractor cannot build a pool since it’s not a structure.  You can however take the contract for the pool if you hire a “C-53” Swimming Pool contractor to perform the work.  A General Building contractor can also build a pool if it is part of an overall building project, such as a new home or a large renovation project.