Business & Real Estate

Storm-battered homeowners should be wary of unlicensed contractors

The Sacramento-based Contractors State License Board is advising homeowners to confirm the status of licensed contractors who offer to repair damage caused by this week’s heavy rains. That includes hiring a contractor to remove fallen trees, fix downed fences or patch a leaky roof.

“Anyone who needs to make repairs from storm damage should be looking for a legitimate, qualified tradesperson – especially in an urgent situation,” said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands, in a statement. Licensed contractors are insured and bonded “and not likely to leave you in the lurch when it comes to properly completing the job at a fair price,” he said.

Any construction job valued at $500 or more in combined labor and material costs must be performed by a state-licensed contractor, and the California Business and Professions Code requires licensees to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees, and to be bonded.

Consumers can use CSLB’s online resources, at cslb.ca.gov or CheckTheLicenseFirst.com, to check the license status of a contractor they plan to hire. Or call the CSLB at (800) 321-2752.

CSLB said consumers should ask to see a contractor’s license and photo identification, plus obtain a written contract prior to work being performed. It also suggests that consumers get at least three bids for any work project.

Call The Bee’s Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.

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