AZ Qualifiers, $500 Exemptions, Grout & Tile

Is there an exception to every rule? For some contractors it depends on the ‘conditions’. Another contractor who wants to be ready for ‘prime’ time needs to see the ‘bigger’ picture in getting those jobs done. We also pump up the volume in answering a question with a ‘twist’ on grout…

Q:  Regarding our Arizona Contractor’s license, in Section 32-1125 of the AZ Registrar of Contractors (ROC) statutes, it seems to indicate that we could file for an exemption from a qualifying party if certain parameters are met.  Can you check if we qualify?  If we don’t qualify, how long do we have after our previous Qualifier resigned to complete the replacement process before our license will be affected?

A:  Arizona ROC does allow you to apply for an Exemption from the Qualifying party if the following conditions exist:  1.  The license has to have been in effect for the last five years, 2.  There has not been a transfer of 50% or more of the licensee’s ownership, and 3.  The license does not have more than five valid, unresolved complaints filed.  After looking at your license it appears that you would qualify for this exemption.  For future reference though, Arizona gives you sixty days to replace the Qualifying party before the license will go Suspended.


Q:  We just recently started doing contracting work in California (we obtained our license a couple months ago) so we are new to the licensing rules and regulations.  We are a residential home improvement prime contractor and we sign contracts directly with homeowners but then sub-contract our work to specialty contractors.  I read that under B&P Code Section 7048 that work under $500 (inclusive of materials) may be done by an unlicensed contractor.  I also understand that exemption does not apply if the project is part of bigger project.  So if we sign a contract to do various home improvements for well over $500, can we hire an unlicensed plumber to unclog a drain and an another unlicensed technician do HVAC repairs so long as, in both cases, the total cost of the work does not exceed $500?  Or would that be considered part of a bigger project?

A:  As a prime contractor you can sub-contract specialty work to unlicensed contractors as long as their individual contract/project does not exceed $500.  The “part of a bigger project” applies when for instance, a contractor tries to skirt around the $500 exemption by agreeing to do several home improvements for a customer, such as plumbing and HVAC, and then splitting them in to two separate contracts/jobs so that each does not exceed $500.  That scenario is not permitted.

Q:  Is licensure required for grout and tile cleaning?

A:  A license is not required for grout and tile cleaning.  We frequently are asked if carpet/floor cleaning requires a contractor’s license to which the answer is also no.  The general rule (although there are some exceptions) is a license is required only if you are installing something. The key here is cleaning!