Should I Hire a Family Member or Friend

So Cousin Ed is a licensed specialty contractor and you have a construction job you want done that may or may not be in his realm of expertise. Are you close enough to know he’d do a good job at a great price; or are you looking for an escape route?

Using a family member or friend to do your contracting work has a number of great advantages. In theory at least, they should give you a better price than the so-called market price that you’d get when put out to strangers. In addition, the old threats of “I know where you live” or “I’m going to tell Mom!” take on a whole new meaning if that friend or family member screws up and doesn’t take care of the problem in a timely manner.

Family Dynamics

Family dynamics (and/or a family therapist) might have a lot to do with the decision process, but if you are considering using someone close, first make sure they are qualified to do the work you want done. A dose of reality here – relationship factors pushing the use of a family member or friend who is not qualified to do the work will sometimes trump common sense. That happens to even us so-called ‘knowledgeable experts’. I used a family friend who happens to be a roofer to do some non-roofing work on my house because he was short of cash and said he could do it. I had to redo that work as it didn’t meet local code and frankly, I can be a bit picky when it comes to my definition of professional workmanship standards.

Would I do it again?

Yes, because the relationship with the family friend was more important and I had the ability to “fix” the problem once he was gone. In most cases, the decision to use a family member or close friend as your contractor will come down to your knowledge of the individual and the strength of the personal relationship. Assume something will go wrong and then run that scenario out to your ‘best guess’ result – if that individual’s definition of integrity is the same (or stronger) than yours, you shouldn’t have a problem.

What I’ve covered so far is more in the realm of interpersonal relationships than in the world of contracting. So let’s get rid of the ‘Dr. Phil’ analysis and touch the real situation of having someone close who is a contractor or who recommended a contractor and your need to diplomatically protect yourself from their best intentions. Before you let that certain someone know of your construction intentions, get a bid or proposal from another contractor. This will give you a baseline that you can use to ascertain how really helpful is good ol’ Cousin Ed.

Now if Ed’s really honest, he’ll probably tell you if he isn’t qualified or the right kind of contractor that you need. But he may know someone. Use his referral as one of your bidders if you’re comfortable or you don’t want to offend, but get additional bids. Having other bids not only gives you some negotiating room with whichever contractor is your first choice, but may also give you a diplomatic way out if your first choice isn’t the family member or friend.

Finding A Contractor

Finding a Contractor

This series is for the vast majority of the public that doesn’t have a strong, pre-existing relationship with a contractor. They need to find one and this series is designed to go over some of the procedures that will help in the research and due diligence process.

Topics we’ll be reviewing include:

  • Dealing with contractors who are friends or family members
  • Other sources for referrals including the Internet
  • Qualifying the contractor
  • First steps in the bid process
  • Communication and interviewing the contractor
  • The bid process
  • Investigate and verify

No single step or process will guarantee you a problem-free construction project from start to finish. There are individuals out there who believe the only way to ‘win’ is for the consumer to lose (just as there are consumers who express a similar competitiveness). If you correctly apply the processes reviewed in our earlier Series on licensing, you’ll eliminate many of those types of individuals from consideration. Properly licensed contractors recognize and are protective of their license status and prefer to avoid repeated confrontation that draws the attention of the Licensing Board.

Tools and Information

Remember the goal here is not to scare anyone away from hiring a contractor – it’s to provide each consumer the tools and information they need to make good choices and avoid much of the stress that can come about when – by accident or by intention – the consumer and contractor are not on the same page.

The objective here is to proactively preempt having to face the most common issues that result in the classic stress of consumer versus contractor. Ask any professional in the consumer protection arena and they will throw their support for any program that focuses on consumers doing proper due diligence beforehand.

Was That Big ‘Win’ On Price Really Worth It?

We’ve all heard that line – “they got what they paid for”. Of course, how it’s interpreted and what it means can change dramatically from the perspective of the consumers versus that of the contractor.

Case in point: I recently completed a couple of small projects for a homeowner in Laguna Beach California (I took the accompanying photo from her backyard deck overlooking the beach) that had gone through a full floor-to-roof renovation the previous year. The home had suffered the ravages of time and its salty environment; leaving only a few areas salvagable.

Laguna Beach ViewAfter having renovation plans drawn up by an architect with proven expertise in beachside residences (good move – retaining someone who knows the environment and the resulting problems), she asked friends and business acquaintances for recommendations on general contractors and then solicited bids from three of them – also a good move in not only getting 3 bids, but having them bid off the same apples-to-apples plans and specifications drawn up by an objective third party who wasn’t associated with any of the general contractors. When the bids were received, two of them were pretty close in price but the 3rd was almost 20% lower. Everyone certainly loves getting a deal; but this represented a difference in price of almost $100,000 so while taking it seriously – caution was in order. The individual who recommended the low bidder was a close friend who had a successful history of investment in real estate.

The referral did come from a very trusted individual.

I know – you’re all thinking “too good to be true” or “unbelievable” or “there’s got to be a catch”. But before you judge, please keep in mind that this homeowner is no dummy and that the referral did come from a very trusted individual. The homeowner understood that some contractors will ‘low ball’ a bid in order to get the job and then really gouge the homeowner later with over priced change orders. But $100,000! That will pay for a lot of change orders.

I’ve written quite a few articles on the subject of protecting yourself on pricing but she didn’t have the advantage of having read those articles (like you do or will). So when the general contractor re-assured her that she was simply getting a good deal because of her connections, she went ahead and hired him. That was the last time she saw him until the problems became insurmountable.

The individual the GC sent out to do the actual work was represented as a highly qualified project manager (he also claimed to be licensed but he was not at that time). When the inevitable problems started and the Project Manager suggested solutions that involved more money, our deal-savvy homeowner refused to pay and insisted that the contractor meet the specifications and requirements in the plans. At this point, the contractor recognizes that he won’t be able to generate large profits from change orders on this job so can you guess what his reaction was? Finish as quickly and cheaply as possible and move on to the next, more profitable job.

Vast array of problems.

It was several months after the contractor proclaimed the job done that I was called in to provide an objective point of view regarding the vast array of problems. A discussion of these problems (including fault and possible solutions) could easily fill several more articles so we’ll leave it for now. Bottom line and to be a bit diplomatic – the workmanship was clearly substandard with incorrect materials used in some applications. For example: stacking stones were used on the patio rather than pavers and were installed over inadequately compacted soil. Result was extremely wide and uneven sand grout lines between very uneven and unlevel rows. The entire brand new patio had to be removed with proper compacting done and new interlocking pavers purchased and installed. Easy to blame the contractor on that issue but in his defense, the homeowner selected the stacking stones and was told (by the representative at a well-known warehouse home improvement retailer) that while pavers were best, stackers could be used as patio stones. She went ahead and purchased them anyways because she got a great deal on the price and the color was perfect.

It would be rather difficult to estimate the cost to fix everything as an investigation was limited to what was obvious and easily viewable. Should outer layers of the house be peeled away and ‘shortcuts’ found internally, the costs could easily exceed the $100,000 in ‘discounts’.

We’re left with some rather interesting questions such as –
• Who’s at fault (if anyone)?
• Did the homeowner not get what she paid for?
• Was she simply a victim or did the contractor take advantage of her?
• Was the contractor a victim of a savvy homeowner trying to get more than she paid for?
• What was the city inspectors responsibilities/role in all of this?
• Is there a remedy other than a lengthy and expensive lawsuit?

I will be exploring all of these questions in future articles. Stay tuned.

Increase a Homes Value

How to Increase a Home’s Value

Want to know about strategies that will increase a home’s value over it’s neighbors at a relatively small increase in cost? Consider things that are a bit just outside of the norm.

Move-in quality

What home buyers, sellers and investors (who are a bit of both) have in common is evaluating what Realtors refer to as the home’s ‘move-in quality’. Realtors will tell you that most home buyers prefer something that they can move right into with the least amount of disruption. At a minimum, they want the home’s ‘bones’ or floor plan and the way things flow from room to room to be just right. From the home buyer’s perspective, everything else – like the kitchen cabinets or bathroom sinks – can be changed at some point in the future.

Of course the investors perspective is price first, but they too recognize that the basic structure has to be right or they’ll have a hard time finding a renter or flipping the property to a new buyer at a nice profit. They also understand that in a market with few buyers, they need to make their property a bit unique in order to separate it from the competition and increase their chances of making a decent profit.

Want to know about strategies that will increase a home’s value?

Covered Patio Construction

why would a qualified home buyer select one house to buy over any of the others?

And of course, home sellers readily recognize they too must answer the question – why would a qualified home buyer select one house to buy over any of the others in that same area – especially tract homes with an identical floor plan? The answer here again is to make it stand out a bit by creating something memorable. But someone selling a home is probably not looking at investing any more dollars than necessary so an ‘improvement’ just prior to sale doesn’t make a lot of sense; does it?

Here’s an example where that could work. Before a home sells, it will undergo a termite and dry rot inspection from a licensed professional. Many times, problems are found in exterior wood structures like the lattice patio covers that adorn almost every suburban back or side yard at one point in it’s existence. A professional Realtor in Orange County California told me of a home he had listed that required over 90% of the lattice cover to be removed, replaced and repainted. As Matt Trudell of Coldwell Banker in Mission Viejo explained, when the dollars have been spent and the repairs completed, the home seller would simply be bringing the house up to the status quo of the neighborhood and the competition – there would be no return on the dollars the seller had to invest as what was done was maintenance required to make a sale.

But had the seller opted to invest the dollars in a different kind of cover, he could have not only made his home stand out and attract needed attention, but he would have increased it’s value significantly over the cookie-cutter competition. The change? Creating an outside entertainment area that could be used year-round by using a solid roof instead of 2x2s. In the photo accompanying this article, I had replaced the normal 2×2 lattice with a solid covered roof. I also added several features that really made it blend into the house by installing cedar planks over open beams for the ceiling, adding a couple of built-in fans for cooling (you can also add gas lines for heaters), stuccoed the support pillars to tie it into the house and then added a few other decorative features. I also removed the existing 1970’s style slider glass door and picture window and replaced them with a total of six french doors so when it’s time to entertain (come rain or shine), the host can open all the doors and essentially, increase the size of the living or great room by the square footage now under cover on the patio.

Cost differential was more than made up for in the increased value of the property

Yes, a covered patio such as the one I built costs more than replacing a bunch of 2x2s and wood posts. But that cost differential was more than made up for in the increased value of the property when it goes to sale and just as importantly, helped separate that house from the pack. It becomes of even more value for a home buyer who not only appreciates the increased value of the improvement, but also gets the advantages of a much larger living space with a mild climate, means pretty-much year around enjoyment (I built quite a few of these on new homes in Arizona). Even on those so-called rare occasions when it rains in Southern California and the neighbors are trapped inside their homes, this homeowner can sit outside and watch the ‘back side of a waterfall’ as it runs off their somewhat different patio cover.

NOT A “KNOCK KNOCK” JOKE

The following is a true story (ok, I added a few dramatic flourishes for emphasis)

This time, she was prepared. “Not going to have one of those, ‘I should of said …’ moments”; she thought as she peered through the peep hole at the stranger knocking on her door.

Two of them this time – probably a trainee learning the door-to-door canvassing game. Let’s see how he handles a potential customer who’s done her homework. She had to remind herself that she really does have a long list of projects she needed done for the house and if this is the one, the right one, she had to avoid getting defensive and too confrontational right from the start.

At least the trainee started off ok: “Good evening; I’m Nathan with World’s Greatest Remodeling. We’re working in the neighborhood and I was wondering if I could take a moment of your time to introduce our services?” Polite, identified himself and asked permission – not the usual condescending waste-of-my-time small talk from my new best friend approach. Still, best to keep the guard up she thought; remembering all those Criminal Minds and CSI episodes where the good looking and extremely polite mass murderer gained entry.

 I’ll just need the legal name of your company and your contractor’s license number.”

What followed was the well-rehearsed 30 second commercial about their company that if done properly, ended with an inquiry such as, are you considering any remodeling or repair work? “Yes” she replied. “But before we go any further, I need less than five minutes to do a quick check. Would you mind waiting while I confirm a couple of things? I’ll just need the legal name of your company and your contractor’s license number.”

She knew that if this was an unlicensed or illegal contractor, the conversation was either over or she’d start hearing lots of double-talk and attempts to change the subject. But this canvasser just smiled and said “Certainly” as he handed her a business card (or other form of advertising) that had the company’s name, license number and classification preprinted on it.

she clicked on “Instant License Check”.

Closing the door with a smile, she went over to her computer and opened up her Internet browser. She glanced at the note she had earlier made for herself as part of her preparation and then entered the web address for the California State Contractors License Board (www.cslb.ca.gov). Within seconds, she was on the home page where on the left side menu; she clicked on “Instant License Check”. Immediately, a new window opened where she saw several circles or buttons. She clicked on the one that said “License Number” and then entered the license number the canvasser had provider her. In less than one minute (she did have a pretty quick internet connection), she was looking over a page of information about the contractor where she not only confirmed that he had a valid license in good standing, but also could see that there were no complaints against the contractor.

she clicked on the “Check out a business” link

Next, after confirming that she had the proper spelling on the contractor’s business name, she entered a new web address – www.bbb.org – where in the middle of the Better Business Bureau’s home page, she clicked on the “Check out a business” link and then typed in the name of the contractor’s business. A moment later, she had a report that showed the contractor had an “A” rating.

Less than 2 and a half minutes had elapsed since she sat down at her computer and opened her Internet browser. In that time, she had confirmed that the contractor had an active license, had no outstanding open complaints against it and had also completed a quick check with the BBB. She knew that her due diligence work was just beginning, but by being prepared for that knock on the door, she felt safe and comfortable as she returned to the young trainee and his handler and began telling them about her plans for her home.

General Contractors Sub Contractors

General Contractors, Subs and Certs

No, Ghost Busters are not currently a classification that requires a contractor’s license. There are a few older classifications like C14 and C26 that have dematerialized and you might still run across sometime. At some point, the Board decided to repeal those classifications and fold them into other specialties.

What has remained the same are the two major categories of contractor classifications – general contractors (designated with an “A” or “B”) who typically have responsibility for the full project and subcontractors or specialty contractors who have a “C” designation and then a number which describes their specialty or what field they qualified in. General contractors typically hire or retain the subs who will all claim that they are the ones that actually do the work.

Besides the general and subs designations, you may see some contractors advertising themselves as having very specialized certifications. For example, ‘ASB’ is a certification award to a contractor who is qualified to safely remove asbestos. Removal of other hazardous substances may require a ‘HAZ’ certification. Just like contractor designations, certifications sometimes are repealed for various reasons. An example of one that had a relatively short life is ‘HIC’ which stood for Home Improvement Certification. It was removed when it was apparent that it was not only a duplication of the same qualifications a general contractor was required to possess, but it added another level and associated costs to the process that was entirely unnecessary.

It may seem obvious as to when you’d need or use each, but let’s be sure by going over a couple of examples. When is it appropriate to use a General Contractor instead of a Specialty Contractor? According to the CSLB, whenever the job requires two or more types of work like framing and electrical. This means that most every kitchen and bathroom remodel (which usually involves plumbing, electrical, carpentry, tile work, etc) will always require a General Contractor to take responsibility for the entire project. The GC may do all the work or subcontract portions of the job to specialty contractors that they have a relationship with.

An exception to that rule might be if you decide to take the role of general and do it yourself including hiring a plumber for the plumbing work, electrician for electrical and so on. In a future Series, we’ll get into the pros and cons of Do-It-Yourself contracting including why most inexperienced do-it-yourselfers end up paying more than they should because they don’t know the Tips and Tricks on how to work the system.

Quiz time: Who do you contact when you want a new air conditioning system?

Answer: a C-20 HVAC contractor (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning). Who do you call when the new AC system is part of a room addition? Answer – You’ll want a General Contractor who oversees and coordinates each phase of the addition and hires the necessary specialties. He’ll hire the C-20 and take the appropriate responsibility for that decision and the work done.

What if you don’t know a C-20 HVAC Contractor or a General Contractor? Another great segue to our next series, “Finding a Contractor”.

contractor licensing classifications

Licensing Classifications

In our previous licensed versus unlicensed comparison discussion, we briefly touched on California state law that states in part, “anyone who contracts to perform work on a project that is valued at $500 or more for labor and materials must hold a current, valid license from the CSLB”.But does holding a ‘current, valid license’ mean that the contractor is qualified to do anything related to contracting? Absolutely not! You wouldn’t hire a podiatrist to perform eye surgery (unless you’re really into new experiences). Currently, there are 43 different classifications and before you feel too overwhelmed, it’s actually pretty easy to figure out what license classification you need. Let’s take a quick look at those classifications and break them down for real world use.

For the most part, the classifications are divided into two broad types: a general contractor and a specialty contractor. There are two types of general contractors – a General Engineering Contractor (designed with an “A”) and a General Building Contractor (“B”). A brief description of a general contractor might be an individual or company that usually oversees projects and coordinates the specific licensed subcontractors for a job – also known as the boss (at least I like to think so). Subcontractors, or Specialty Contractors, are identified by the letter “C” followed by a number that describes the specialty like roofing (C39) or electrical (C10). Here’s a list of the “C’s”:

 

  • C-2     Insulation and Acoustical Contractor
  • C-4     Boiler, Hot Water Heating & Steam Fitting
  • C-5     Framing & Rough Carpentry
  • C-6     Cabinet, Millwork & Finish Carpentry
  • C-7     Low Voltage Systems
  • C-8     Concrete
  • C-9     Drywall
  • C-10   Electrical
  • C-11   Elevator
  • C-12   Earthwork & Paving
  • C-13   Fencing
  • C-15   Flooring & Floor Covering
  • C-16   Fire Protection
  • C-17   Glazing
  • C-20   HVAC
  • C-21   Building Moving/Demolition
  • C-23   Ornamental Metal
  • C-27   Landscaping
  • C-28   Lock & Security Equipment
  • C-29   Masonry
  • C-31   Construction Zone Traffic Control
  • C-32   Parking & Highway Improvement
  • C-33   Painting & Decorating
  • C-34   Pipeline
  • C-35   Lathing & Plastering (aka stucco)
  • C-36   Plumbing
  • C-38   Refrigeration
  • C-39   Roofing
  • C-42   Sanitation System
  • C-43   Sheet meal
  • C-45   Sign
  • C-46   Solar
  • C-47   General Manufactured Housing
  • C-50   Reinforcing Steel
  • C-51   Structural Steel
  • C-53   Swimming Pool
  • C-54   Ceramic & Mosaic Tile
  • C-55   Water Conditioning
  • C-57   Water Well Drilling
  • C-60   Welding
  • C-61   Limited Specialty

It can be pretty obvious as to whom to call for a stopped up drain. Next, we’ll take a look at the not-so-obvious plus examine a couple of possible confusing scenarios.

contractor licensing violation

Contractor License Violation

Licensing – Forensic dirt analysis

All is not as it seems, Mr. Watson. To truly understand the history of these villainous acts, we must scrutinize the evidence and reconstruct the crimes. We’ll focus only on factual violations that have earned their place of dishonor on the Board’s violation page. But our examination will show that sometimes the punishment does not fit the crime.

Let us examine the story of someone who is still working in Southern California despite having violations back as far as 1998 for 7107 (Abandonment without legal excuse of any construction project), 7109A (Departed from Trade Standards), 7113 (Exceeded Contract Amount) and a few months later, he added 7116 (Willful or Fraudulent Act) and another 7107 abandonment to his sheet. He did eventually lose his license but in the time it took, lots more consumers got ripped off. A background check (mandatory for anyone that applies to work for me) revealed a couple of felony convictions and some jail time for domestic abuse. Even though he is not a licensed contractor at this time, he does run his own handyman outfit locally and receives most of his business from one of those Internet contractor referral services and lists. As a handyman, he isn’t required to be licensed but for you as a consumer, wouldn’t you like to know this information before you invite him into your home or business? No names please – I have no desire to spend time and money defending against even a frivolous lawsuit. My role is to provide the tools a consumer needs to do their own research and protect themselves and their family.

A cautionary word before you move on in your search for the perfect contractor – Consumers don’t really want to hear this, but lots of these complaints come from people who are unreasonable or just plain wrong. Many consumers have a need to ‘win’ and look to get something for free or greatly discounted. Perhaps I shouldn’t admit this in such a public forum, but I’m who really dislikes fighting and when confronted with an individual who finds an argument to justify just about anything, sometimes I’ll provide a free service in order to find a less stressful solution.

In the last article, we touched on a code violation (7110) in which the contractor had failed to pull and pay for the necessary building permits. This one line violation doesn’t mention the fact that (according to the contractor in question), he failed to get the permit because the homeowner had allegedly agreed to pay for it but then refused and (again, according to the contractor) lied to the State Inspector about it. The contractor paid for the permit and so now it shows “Complete” on his rap sheet. Even assuming his version is the truth, the contractor was still in the wrong as it is his responsibility to put details like who pays for the permit in writing. He should have known better.

It isn’t just consumer complaints that appear on this website page. What’s also listed is any violation of contractor law so the violation may appear simply because the contractor’s paperwork isn’t in order. But even in that situation, the contractor gets plenty of warning and time to get things straight before he is forever tarnished with the Stain of Violation.

Contractor Licensing Digging up the Dirt

Licensing – Digging up the Dirt

LICENSING DUE DILIGENCE – Complaint Violation

While reviewing the information on a contractor posted on the Contractors State License Board website, you reached that rather innocuous line titled “Additional Status”. But rather than being blank like so many others, this one is filled in with the following line: “Click here for Complaint Disclosure Information”. Clicking on the Complaint Disclosure link will bring you to another page where any complaint or violation involving that license is listed. Before we click on the violation link and read the juicy details, let’s go over what this information means – and what it doesn’t mean.

It usually has to get pretty bad to end up with something on this page. Think about how many times you might have been wronged by someone and you took it to the rather drastic step of contacting and filing a formal complaint with a state agency. Most consumers who aren’t happy try lots of other steps first (like the BBB or getting a lawyer to write a nasty letter) before they seek a solution using the state bureaucracy. So the odds are that if the complaint is coming from a consumer and it reaches the level of appearing on this page, then there’s probably one very unhappy client out there.

We’ll get into the process of filing a complaint and how it’s handled (or insufficiently handled) by the Board in a later Series; but let’s get back to some basic definitions and explanations of what can be found on this page. The page will list the Case Number, Date and Status of each violation. Status is what happened as a result of the Board’s investigation. The license may have been suspended as punishment or revoked if for repeat offenders or when the violation was sufficiently bad as to end up with some jail time in some cases. It can also reflect when the violation was resolved (usually by the word “Complete”) which means the contractor did what was necessary and resolved whatever problem existed.

Clicking on the Case Number will bring you to another page that provides you with three pieces of information on the violation: 1) the Code or law that the contractor is accused of violating – usually California’s Business and Professions Code; 2) the Violation which is a code number like 7107 for those who want to really get into the generic details of the law; and 3) a description of the violation – for example, 7107 refers to “Abandonment without legal excuse of any construction project”.

An example of a ‘lesser offense’ might be 7110 which in the case of a contractor I know who has this on his record, refers to the fact that he violated building law by not getting a permit.

But all is not as it seems. Let’s dive deeper into those violations with a couple of good war stories to find out what really happened and to help put this whole violation process in perspective. That’s next.

Decipering a Contractor License

Deciphering A Contractor License

Now that we’ve confirmed the easy and obvious stuff, let’s take a little bit deeper look. There could be some things here that could be of major importance later on.

The next item we’ll take the microscope to is:

Additional Status

In most cases, this is blank. But if there’s been any code violation involving the licensee, you’ll see a link titled “Complaint Disclosure”. In the next articles in this series we’ll go into depth on the information found when you click on the link. But like raising kids and dogs, it’s just as important to acknowledge the positive as the negative and so no link in this section is a good indication that an experienced contractor has never done anything that rises to level of a consumer filing a complaint with the Board (even completed or satisfied complaints are listed as we’ll discuss shortly). Here’s where I get to point out that in over 30 years of contracting, that section has remained blank for my license(s)

Classifications

There’s enough information here to justify its own section so for now, simply make a note of the contractors classification and we’ll discuss in detail shortly.

Bonding

Another topic that qualifies for its own section. We’ll be looking at license bonds in quite a bit of depth later; for now, you’ll want to make sure that they are bonded and the bond is active. Surety companies love to get their premiums so the moment the contractor doesn’t pay up, the surety company changes the status in this database so you can be assured it’s probably up to date

Workers Compensation

Like any other insurance coverage, its status should be listed here along with who the carrier is (this could be important if an accident occurs on your property regardless of whether or not you have homeowners or other property insurance). However, many contractors prefer to use independent contractors and subcontractors when they need additional help rather than employees (primarily for the many tax advantages) in which case they need to file an exemption form with the State. Not a problem, but it does mean that the consumer needs to make sure that anyone else coming on their property is covered by a policy or there is an exemption form on file for each qualifying individual.

Personnel List

This is a link on the bottom, center of the page that is supposed to provide you with key personnel of the contractor. However, it usually only gets updated when the contractor renews their license so while you might find out interesting information about the business, it really isn’t a good source of up-to-date information.

Other Licenses

This link may tell you much about the contractors past although most consumers rarely click on it. In my case, it would let the reader know that I was first licensed on May 11th, 1981. But what’s NOT there is even more important – anything about disciplinary action and/or complaints.

 

Sounds like a great segue to our next posting subject on checking out the disciplinary actions taken against your contractor.