Water damage sucks, but is a contractor’s license required to just vacuum it up?
Our friends ‘in high places’ will appreciate another question and the answer that is ‘on the house’ as we also clarify rules on Nevada licensing in this edition…
Q: My client is a water damage restoration company. They only do extraction and drying (no alteration or repair work at all) specifically to avoid having to have a contractor’s license. Do you have any authority that explains that water damage restoration companies are not required to have a contractor’s license in CA under B&P code 7026?
A: Thank you for contacting Capitol Services. There is nothing in B & P Code 7026 that directly relates to water damage restoration companies. However, if your client is simply removing water and drying and not doing any further repairs or alterations, then a contractor’s license is not required. Some water restoration companies not only remove the water but they also then repair any damage (swelling, warping of floors, removal of mold or other hazardous materials, etc) as a result of the water damage, and in that case a contractor’s license would be required.
B & P Code section 7026 defines “contractor” as “any person who undertakes to or offers to undertake to, or purports to have the capacity to undertake to, or submits a bid to, or does himself or herself or by or through others, construct, alter, repair, add to, subtract from, improve, move, wreck or demolish any building…”. This would not apply to a company that is simply using equipment to remove water from a structure and then dry the area.
Q: I have a roofing project that also includes mechanical work, electrical work (associated with the mechanical improvements), and structural work (also associated with the mechanical improvements). The mechanical costs are over 50% of the total project (when you take into account the “associated improvements”). At what point does this move from a “C-39” Roofing to a “B” General Building contractor? Is there a dollar amount cut off?
A: There is no dollar amount cut off, however if the majority of the project is mechanical work including electrical and structural then it would be more suited for a “B” contractor. A roofing contractor can only perform work that is incidental and supplemental to the overall roofing project. Basically, doing work in other classifications is only acceptable if it’s essential to accomplish the roofing project. However, the work in other classifications needs to be a small percentage of the overall roofing project. Again, there is no specified amount written in the statutes but in my opinion it sounds as if the mechanical work you’ve described may be beyond your scope.
Q: You recently helped me obtain my Nevada General contractor’s license
(“B-2”). I would like to have a “C-3” Carpentry license and also a “C-4” Painting license. Would I be required to take the trade exams? Also, do I need to take the Business/Management again?
A: Thank you for contacting us again. You would not have to take any exams! You already took the Business exam to obtain your “B-2” so that would not be required. Secondly, carpentry and painting are considered to be trades that are included in the “B-2” classification, and therefore you are considered pre-qualified for those classifications. This may be news to Nevada licensees, if so let us know how we can help you.