RME Qualifier, Down Payments, “C-53”, Garage Storage and Reciprocal License States

While estimates, design and plans need to add up in building, the rules of addition don’t always apply to contractor licensing. Limits, exceptions and interpretation in contractor regulations can change results. We take a trip to Oregon, take a ‘dip’ on swimming pools and help another contractor ‘hang around’ the garage…

Q:  We have an employee who holds an Inactive “A” and “B” license.  He currently is the Responsible Managing Employee (RME) for another company’s General Building (“B”) license.  Can we then use his “A” qualification and add that classification to our license?

A:  Even though he is qualified for two separate classifications, RME’s can only qualify for one Active license at a time.

Q:  I understand the law reads that a Home Improvement Contractor can only ask for 10% of the total home improvement contract or $1000 down payment.  Is it legal for me to accept more than that if the Homeowner offers without me asking?  Is there an exception to this law for special orders?

A:  The way the law reads is it is illegal to ask for or accept a down payment of more than 10% of the total home improvement contract price, or $1000, whichever is less.  There are no exceptions for special order materials.  The only down payment exception is for the few contractors who carry special blanket and performance bonds to protect consumers.

Q:  I would like to get my “C-53” (Swimming Pool) License ASAP. I have been in the industry for 15 years as Project Manager and Sales. With my many years of experience, will I be required to take the exams?

A:  Yes, you will be required to take the law and trade exams.  Having many years of experience in the trade does not qualify as one of the reasons the CSLB will grant a Waiver of the exams.

Q:  Does California have a reciprocal agreement with Oregon?

A:  No, California has a limited reciprocal agreement, or reciprocity only with Nevada, Arizona, and Utah.

Q:  What type of Contractor’s License is needed for installing garage storage systems?  We will be doing cabinets and shelving for organizational purposes.  Thanks, in advance.

A:  If the cabinets and shelving are prefabricated and you are just hanging them, the “C-61”/”D-34” (Prefabricated Equipment) would be sufficient.  However, if you are fabricating and installing the cabinets you would need to hold the “C-6” (Cabinet, Millwork and Finish Carpentry) classification.