By Knowing

all the facts & which questions to ask

before you sign on the dotted line

greatly improves your chances of

finding the right person

with the right skills

to do the right job

at the right price...


The Facts

Under California law anyone who puts in bids

on work valued at $500 or more must be

licensed and bonded by the State.

The licensed contractor must supply workers

compensation if they employ or otherwise

engage others to work on your job.

California's 280,000 licensed contractors

should also obtain any/all permits as necessary.

2 .


An itemized written description of

ALL WORK you want carried out


Who is to supply *Built ins, Fittings

Materials, Hard Goods, Soft Goods

(*as applicable)


Quality of finishes

Benchmark dates for specific tasks

Start/Completion dates

Days/Hours of work

Security and Safety


Print out

Local database (as shown on screen)

to assist with your establishment of a

SHORTLIST consisting of THREE


who are to be asked;

Firstly, to quote exactly as per your

detailed list of works

Secondly, to then re-quote incorporating any

recommendations that they feel will make the

job better.

4 .


Family, friends and work colleagues

what they know of your selected three

(or others on list) request their personal


5 .


That your preferred contractor/tradepersons

is/are licensed, bonded & reputable

Call the State Contractor Licence Agency at

1-800 321 - CSLB or check via their Website to ensure that all licences are

current and that nothing has lapsed or been



Written Estimates

Don't rely on verbal estimates.


References & Referee's

Demand that the contractor/tradesperson

provide references & referee's as a

requirement for their quote to be considered

Speak with the referees



If contractor offers an extended warranty

is fully insured for any/all property damage

and personal liability in the event of accident

and/or injury


Avoid Cash Only Deals

Unless YOU can get ABSOLUTE PROOF of



Minimize Deposits

10-25% of contact value up to $1,000 is the

maximum deposit you should pay upfront

Get receipts for All payments

Balance of payment only after completion,

inspection, rectification and your total job



The Big Decision

Don't be pushed into making the

“Who gets the Job” decision until you're

completely happy with and fully

understand all details/arrangements

Remember ...

it's your decision alone who gets the job


Have contractor sign

Have the contractor(s) sign your copy of

agreed “Bill of Works”



When it is not economically feasible

to have someone come out

and provide a written quote for work

(i.e.: work that is estimated to be less

than half a day) the person supplying

the required service(s) should provide

a fixed hourly rate

so that you have a better sense

of how much the full job will cost

Hourly rates do not include materials

recommends that all jobs in excess

of four hours

be subject to a written estimate prior

to job commencement

strongly recommends that a one year labor only guarantee be a condition of contract from the prime contractor.

In the event that sub-contractors are used without a prime contractor then individual guarantees need to be sought from each particular trade & service as supplied.

A one year labor guarantee from the prime contractor(s) will avail three benfits.

1. It will improve the quality of the work done

2. It will help your project to run smoothly as everybody needs to "get it right" the first time

3. It will greatly reduced any levels of apprehension, worry or stress that a project of a type that one is unfamilar with brings