When it comes to fixing storm damage, it's better to be safe, according to the Contractors State License Board.
Consumers can use the board's website at www.cslb.ca.gov to review the license status of a contractor and to find tips on the best approach to home repairs.
Any construction job costing $500 or more in labor and materials must be done by a state-licensed contractor. Licensed contractors must carry workers' compensation insurance coverage for their employees and be bonded.
If a tree to be removed is 15 feet or taller, and the job costs more than $500, the contractor must be licensed by the state. Code allows a gardener who does not have a state license to work on jobs if the tree is less than 15 feet and the job is less than $500.
State law requires all roofing contractors to carry workers' compensation insurance.
The CSLB urges consumers to get at least three bids, check references, obtain a written contract, and don't pay more than 10 percent or $1,000, whichever is less, as a down payment.