Three words: CAUTION, CAUTION, CAUTION.
In every column I always try to get the point across to use caution when hiring a contractor. There are so many different elements to selecting the right contractor and the biggest element is finding that contractors license number and looking it up on the Contractors State License Boards Website.
What all customers absolutely need to know is do not take for granted that if you see a company name, that automatically means they are a reputable company and playing by the rules. With business cards, broadcast, pamphlets, trucks, clothing, online ads, banners, print ads — anything with a company name on it that is advertising as a construction company — they have to have a California state license number next to it. Those without a license can advertise to perform jobs valued at less than $500, but the ad must state that they are not a licensed contractor. If there is not a license number, question it because you can actually report them to the license board; it is a misdemeanor and they can get fined heavily for it. As pictured, you will see I have my license number tattooed to me because I proudly put my company name and logo on my calf, and I completely understand it’s the law to have your license number on everything.
When you do get a pamphlet or card that has a license number on there, check it to make sure it has six numerals and there should be no letters. There are what we call cheaters out there that will put six numbers on an ad and it’s not even their license. While we were living in San Jose we got a business card under our mat at our home for a landscaping contractor and it had a number on it that was such a low number it was questionable. So we looked it up on CSLB’s Website and it actually belonged to a B licensed general contractor, not a landscape C contractor, and it had expired back in the 1980s. So he fraudulently put a six-digit number on his card.
As I sign off, I have two words; QUESTION IT! Always, always question it. You don’t want to be left in the dust with money out and a kitchen or bathroom half done.
Jeff Nilluka is a licensed contractor No. 875781 and the owner of Cambrian Construction in the El Dorado County. He and his wife Jenelle can be reached by their Website at cambrian-construction.com or 916-458-1771.