Council on Aging Answers 2017 - 54

COUNCIL ON AGING - SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Construction Project Checklist
o 
C
 heck the contractor license number at
www.cslb.ca.gov to make sure it is current and in
good standing.
o 
A
 sk to see the contractor's pocket license and a
current photo ID.
o 
A
 sk for a current list of contact information (telephone number and business address) for the
contractor, subcontractors, and suppliers.
HOUSING

o 
F 
ind out from your local building department
whether your project needs a building permit,
and confirm that your contractor will obtain all
necessary permits.

workers' compensation insurance for employees.
o 
M
 ake sure all project materials and expectations
are spelled out and signed in a written contract,
including clean-up, debris removal, and site security. Ask your contractor if he or she understands
exactly what you want.
o 
H
 ave a timetable for each phase of your project and the corresponding payment schedule
spelled out in the contract. Do not let payments
get ahead of the work.
o 
P
 
ay no more than 10% down or $1,000, whichever is less.

o 
G
 et at least three identical construction bids, ask
for client references, and check out previous work
in person.

o 
N
 ever pay in cash.

o 
A
 sk whether your contractor carries general liability insurance in case of accidental damage and

o 
C
 onsider searching your contractor's name online
for additional reviews.

Continued from page 53
no work is done and the project is abandoned.
High Pressure Sales: A fast-talking operator pushes
you for an immediate decision about work, which
makes it impossible for you to get competitive bids,
check licenses, or review references.
Scare Tactics: A person offers to perform a free inspection, then claims a
serious problem such
as faulty wiring, bad
plumbing, or a leaky
roof, will put you in
danger. This can lead to
unnecessary and overpriced work.
Demand for Cash:
The worker insists that
you pay in cash, sometimes going so far as to drive you
to the bank to withdraw funds. With money in hand,
the unscrupulous person takes the money and abandons a substandard or unfinished project.
Illegally Large Down Payments: A contractor
takes more for a down payment than is allowed by law,
claiming to need instant cash for supplies or to pay

o 
K
 
eep all of your project documents, including
payments and photographs, in a job file.

workers. By law, a down payment cannot exceed 10%
of the total project price or $1,000, whichever is less.
Verbal Agreements: The "contractor" states that a
written contract is unnecessary and promises to deliver on the verbal agreement, then performs shoddy
work-or none at all-and leaves the property owner
with no recourse.
Additional
Resources
n California Contractors State License
Board
www.cslb.cca.gov or
call 800-321-2752
n California Department of Insurance
at
800-927-4357
Research your city's building permit requirements
via: League of California Cities at www.cacities.org

By law, a down payment
cannot exceed 10% of the
total project price or $1,000,
whichever is less.

54

Answers Guide 2017	

Adapted from Contractors State License Board, Department of Consumer Affairs

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Council on Aging Answers 2017

Contents
Council on Aging Answers 2017 - Intro
Council on Aging Answers 2017 - Cover1
Council on Aging Answers 2017 - Cover2
Council on Aging Answers 2017 - 1
Council on Aging Answers 2017 - Contents
Council on Aging Answers 2017 - 3
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Council on Aging Answers 2017 - Cover3
Council on Aging Answers 2017 - Cover4
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