Do I Need a Contractor?

Hiring a licensed contractor can make your project go smoother and may protect you legally. When applying for a permit you or your contractor must declare one of the following:  

  • They are either exempt from the Contractor's State License Law or
  • They or their employees will do all of the work, and that the project is not for sale or
  • They are exclusively contracting with a licensed Contractor

Workers' Compensation:

Applicants must also make declarations about workers' compensation:   

  • That they will maintain a certificate of consent to self-insure
  • Will maintain workers' compensation insurance
  • Will not employ any person in any manner so as to become subject to the workers' compensation laws of California

Contractor's State Licensing Board: 

Contractors are licensed through the California Contractor's State License Board.  Verify if a contractor is licensed and up-to-date on their Workman's Compensation Insurance and more by checking license.

General Advice About Using Contractors:

  • Hire only state-licensed contractors.
  • Check a contractor's license number online or by calling 1 800-321-2752.
  • Get at least three bids. 
  • Get three references from each bidder and review past work in person. 
  • Make sure all project expectations are in writing and only sign the contract if you completely understand the terms. 
  • Confirm that the contractor has workers' compensation insurance for employees. 
  • Never pay more than 10% down or $1,000, whichever is less. Don't pay in cash
  • Don't let payments get ahead of the work.
  • Keep a job file of all papers relating to your project, including all payments.
  • Don't make the final payment until you're satisfied with the job and the permit is fina​led.

Owner Builder Information:

 Are you acting as an Owner Builder?  

Owner Builder Benefits and Risks  
Notice to Property Owner as Owner Builder