Grout Cleaning, Missed Exam, Decking Limit and Business Names

Take a deep breath, there is no reason to panic when you get expert assistance. As another contractor also discovers it’s best to check before getting in too ‘deep’, and I help another inquiry by ‘filling in the blanks’ about licensing…

Q:  I just received a letter from the CSLB stating that my pending application is going to go void soon.  When I look it up online it says I failed to appear for my exam.  I don’t recall ever receiving notice of an exam date.  Is there anything I can do at this point?

A:  Don’t panic. When you fail to appear for an exam you are required to pay a $60 re-schedule fee and they will get you set up with a new date.  You should also be sure that the CSLB has the correct address on file to ensure you receive your exam notification.  

Q:   I have been asked to re-construct a deck that has extensive dry rot in the joists.  The dry rot is so close to the structure so the joists cannot be repaired via “sistering”.  When I replace the decking and railing, the structural support joists, which are 10 feet deep in the building also need to be replaced.  Am I permitted to do this work with the “C-61”/”D-41” license?

A:  As was my inclination, I double checked with the CSLB, and it would not be appropriate for a Siding and Decking contractor to replace the cantilevered structural supports of the deck you described.  This type of work requires specialized engineering skills and would likely require an “A” (General Engineering) license.

Q:  I recently applied for a Contractor’s license and I used the word “Builders” in my business name.  I checked the status online today and it says, “provide a corrected business name” and then has the word “builders” in parentheses.  Do you know what this means?

A:  I am assuming based on the notification you applied for a Sole Proprietor license.  A Sole Proprietorcannot use plurals in their business name, such as “Builders” or “ABC & Sons” or “HVAC Installers”.  The CSLB considers the plural as a misrepresentation of personnel for a Sole Proprietor license.

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!