Adding “C-10”, Gardeners/ Landscaping Limits and Preserving A License Number

As a contractor’s best friend, I give ‘validity’ to our first inquiry from the field. I will also climb a family ‘tree’ to unravel a history question from a third generation hoping to keep its number low…

Q:  I obtained my “C-46” license last year (with your help) and I now want to add the “C-10” (Electrical) classification.  I know I will need to take the Electrical Trade exam, but is my Law exam still valid, or will I need re-take it again for each classification I want to add?

A:  Your law exam is still valid, and only the C-10 trade exam will be required.

Q:  Where does the CSLB draw the line between a “Gardener” and a licensed “Landscaper”?  I run a Gardening business and I frequently have customers ask me to do extra work such as fence repairs or even build a deck for them.  If I do need to be licensed to do these projects, will I qualify based on my Gardening experience?  I also worked for my Dad for years and he is a licensed “C-27” (Landscaping) Contractor. 

A:  The main rule here is any contracting project that is $500 or more in combined labor and material costs requires a State-licensed Contractor.  Gardeners are typically hired for weekly services such as mowing, trimming, weeding, etc.  It’s when they start performing other services or installations which may exceed the $500 limit when the line is drawn.  Projects such as decks, retaining walls, fences, irrigation systems, etc. typically require someone like Dad, or another licensed “C-27” Contractor to perform the work.

In order to qualify for a “C-27” license (or any Contractor’s License for that matter), you must show four years of experience in that trade within the last ten, so as long as you worked for your Dad within the last ten years combined with your Gardening experience, you have a good chance of qualifying.  You can call my office so we can go over your experience in more detail and I will be able to give you a more definitive answer.

 Q:  My Father has a Contractor’s license that he has told me his Father “Grandfathered” to him back in the 80’s, and he wasn’t required to document any experience or take the exams.  My Dad is retiring, and I am wondering if that is still an option.  I don’t have any Construction experience and I likely wouldn’t be able to pass the exams.  If “Grandfathering” is not an option, what are my choice for keeping that license number?  The number is very important to him.

A:  That may have been the case back in the 80’s, but I can tell you that is no longer an option.  You definitely need to show the experience yourself, or hire someone who is already licensed, OR who can show the experience and take the exam.  If your Dad’s license is a Sole Owner license, you can hire an RME (Responsible Managing Employee) to Qualify your license, with you being the owner of the license, and you and your Dad can submit a request to have his license number re-issued to you.