Selecting the right contractor is a difficult decision. For many consumers, price is the number one reason for their selection. However, be aware that while purchasing construction services from an unlicensed contractor may be cheaper, it is also riskier for the homeowner.
The Right License for Pool Builders
Per the California Contractors State License Board, swimming pools and spas can be built by contractors with a:
- C-53 Swimming Pool license
- a General Building (B) license or
- a C-27 Landscaping contractor
Both the B and C-27 are required to contract with a licensed C-53 to perform the work or also carry a C-53 classification.
Contractor License Requirements
Contractors in the state of California are required to carry a current, valid license for any work contracted for $500 or more. The license must be in their trade classification or as a General B they can contract with other subcontractors licensed in their trade. Licensing provides some basic securities to protect the homeowner. Licensed contractors are:
- required to pass a trade examination
- verify that they have four years’ experience at the journeymen level
- pass a background investigation
- carry a bond in the amount of $15,000
- and carry worker’s compensation insurance, at the amount required
In addition, sales representatives are required by the CSLB to be registered as a Home Improvement Salesperson which requires, they pass a background check.
The Contractor’s Board is your Partner
The Contractors State License Board serves as a consumer advocate. Should an issue arise when working with a licensed contractor, consumers can file a complaint with the CSLB who can step in to help settle disagreements.
Homeowner’s who choose to work with unlicensed contractors may have little recourse if the project runs into trouble.
Working with a licensed contractor can be a bit more expensive because the contractor does incur additional cost to maintain their legal standing. However, it will also afford you protection as a consumer, in addition to safety and protection of your home.