What you should know before hiring a contractor
The Contractors State License Board (CSLB), www.cslb.ca.gov, licenses and regulates contractors in 43 classifications that constitute the construction industry.
Most licensed contractors are competent, honest, hardworking and financially responsible. However, home improvement is a top source of consumer complaints nationwide. Most of the problems CSLB sees could be prevented if homeowners knew their home improvement rights and took responsibility for their project. A responsible and informed consumer can work more effectively with reputable contractors, and can avoid being victimized by unscrupulous or unlicensed operators.
The "buyer beware" principle can help prevent frustration and disappointment when preparing to make a major decision. By carefully considering what you want done to your property, what it will realistically take to do the job, and taking the time to research and check the license of the professional you hire to do the job, you may avoid many of the headaches often associated with remodeling.
Almost everyone knows someone who has a nightmare story to tell about their remodeling job: the length of time it took; the inconvenience of the noise, dust, and absence of such essentials as plumbing, electricity, heat, and air conditioning; lack of privacy during the job; or the cost overruns associated with homeowners who had to live through what they described as "the trauma" of even the smallest remodeling job.
Protect yourself--and your pocketbook--by doing your home improvement homework and planning responsibly for your project.
To verify that a contractor is licensed and has worker’s compensation insurance, go to the www.cslb.ca.gov and click on License Status Check. You can search by License Number or Name.