The rules are complex and contractors would be hard-pressed to know them all. Do you know if the guy installing your kitchen appliances needs a license? When is it ‘handy’ to not hire a licensed contractor in California? But first, we help a General get his ‘stuff’ together for the “C-42”…
Q: I am a “A” (General Engineering) contractor and I have been doing septic work with my license for over 20 years. I had a dispute with a customer that resulted in the CSLB getting involved. Even though the dispute was unrelated to my classification, the CSLB cited me for contracting outside of scope. It was my understanding throughout the years (and when I originally obtained my license) that septic work was covered under the “A” license. Is that not the case any longer?
A: If the septic work is in connection to a project that requires specialized engineering knowledge and skill then you can do the work with the “A” license, however a General Engineering (“A”) contractor cannot contract for just septic work. That would require a “C-42” (Sanitation) classification. It sounds as if you have the requisite background (4 years of full time work experience) to add that classification to your license and you may even be able to qualify for a Waiver of the exam if you can show that “C-42” work is a major part of the work you do with your “A” license. Please feel free to contact our office if you’d like assistance with the process.
Q: Under Section 7048 of the California B&P Code, no license is required for work under $500 (inclusive of materials). Does that mean that we could have an unlicensed handyman do basic plumbing (such as unclogging drains, install faucets, etc.) so long as the total cost does not exceed $500?
A: That is correct. As long as the total cost of the project is under $500, labor and materials included, a contractor’s license is not required.
Q: Do I need a contractor’s license to do appliance installations in homes?
A: It depends on what type of appliances you are installing. Basic appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, etc. don’t typically require a contractor’s license. However, anytime you are installing major appliances and ventilating hoods that are in connection with existing fuel and energy lines, you are required to have a contractor’s license. A “C-61”/”D34” (Prefabricated Equipment) would be the appropriate classification for that type of work.
Q: My license is set to expire at the end of the month and I can’t find my renewal. I called the CSLB to order another one and they told me that they are taking about a week and a half to send them out and that the application goes out regular mail. I’m concerned that with the mailing time and processing time once I send it back, it will show Expired for a period of time. Anything you can do to help?
A: First of all, we can pick up one up for you in person if you authorize us to do so with a Power of Attorney. We can then email to you for signature and you can send it back to us with the State fee and we can deliver it for you. Secondly, I would recommend that just in case they don’t process it in time, you request that the CSLB retroactively renew your license to the expiration date. They typically do this anyway, as long as the renewal was submitted in a timely fashion, but at least you would have something on file making this request.