When Is A General Contractor License Required In California

In the world of commercial construction, contractors are a necessity that simply can’t be overlooked. Otherwise, the level of coordination on a project can become chaotic or simply a disaster area, something that can end up costing the firm paying for that construction a steep amount of money.

The Licensing Issue

In the case of virtually all construction contractors, licensing concerns can become an integral aspect of the process.

Without such legal documentation in the state of California, construction can’t proceed and the project in question is put into limbo, so it’s important to understand exactly when such requirements need to be addressed.

Such licensing from the Contractors State Licensing Board (CSLB) is virtually universal.

That’s because it’s required on any project that involves spending over $500 when it comes to labor and materials. That effectively takes under consideration anything beyond the most basic structure of the smallest possible size.

The Danger of Unlicensed Contractors

That license also ensures that the client won’t end up paying for the irresponsibility of disreputable construction contractors.

Such dangers are a reality, with a license that’s issued by any state, including California, requiring contractors to pay for such things as workers compensation, insurance against property damage or shoddy work.

Unlicensed contractors continually look to cut corners and don’t bother with such important concerns. Their main focus is simply getting paid for a project and then moving on to the next job.

Unfortunate clients have little or no recourse in such matters and could take a severe financial hit as a result.

In some cases, inclement weather simply prevents work from being done. Yet those who don’t make the effort to be responsible in the area of licensing are essentially free to make up their own rules as they go along.

That might mean that they deem it too hot or cold to work or set time limits to accommodate their own schedule, annoying aspects that can increase the commercial construction cost per square foot.

Licensed contractors have to have experience in their field to hold that license, with specialized subcontractors required to pass a test to indicate their level of expertise in that area.

Those contractors also need to provide protection for all clients by having a license bond.

Avoiding Trouble

Clients can take some easy steps to avoid discovering too late that their contractor is unlicensed, with the general contractor also possessing that capability.

Simply going on the CSLB website will take you to a database where you can put in the name of the contractors, their listed specialty, the name of their business and their license number.

General Contractors vs. Subcontractors

Unless a contractor is specifically trained to work in one or more of 44 areas, their general contracting license allows them to only hire subcontractors to perform work on a client’s behalf.

That’s why it’s important to remember that there are distinct differences when it comes to this segment of contracting and subcontracting.

General contracting is more concerned with making sure that different links to the same project are performing their jobs in a satisfactory manner.

Their main responsibility is in selecting the best available candidates for specific roles and then holding them accountable for any substandard work.

The Value of Experience

The more experienced general contractors will usually have trusted subcontractors at their disposal, ensuring that a project will be completed with a minimum of hassles.

The previous track record that’s been established offers a more comfortable working relationship for all involved.

Without that bond, the contractor has to answer for the quality of the subcontractor’s work. That explains why the very best general contractors make a point to either use those trusted partners or to carefully screen candidates to perform the work involved.

They know that it’s their name and reputation that’s represented on the contract with the client, not the subcontractor.

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Different Needs

For any major project that involves such things as commercial building contractors, it makes sense to work with a general contractor.

All of the different necessities involved require a central communicator to the client, a role that the general contractor fulfills.

If the job in question is simply a remodeling job or is focused on a single area, using a subcontractor then becomes a viable way to handle a job.

Within California, the wide array of different classifications for contractors includes such areas as those who perform electrical sign work, those concerned with fencing a given area or those constructing swimming pools.

Yet most of those concerns can bring with them multiple aspects related to the work at hand that quickly makes the wisdom of choosing a general contractor the better decision.

The alternative means bouncing back and forth between different subcontractors, which can become a problem if schedules are tight or simply not possible.

One Exemption From Licensing

Regulation, including some at the federal level, is necessary for contractors that deal with hazardous materials, though they’re exempt from such regular licensing requirements.

These often focus on remodeling jobs that deal with the removal of things like asbestos. The federal Department of Labor, OSHA, CSLB and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health all have regulations in place that have to be followed.

Your Best Answer in Contracting

General contracting, especially when it comes to commercial construction, is something that brings all facets of a project into a singular focus.

That’s why when choosing the commercial contractors that you want to work with, it makes perfect sense to call Sierra Group to handle your specific job

The scope of the different projects that we handle ranges from small businesses in need of office space to large campuses for major businesses.

Everything in between also happens to be within our skill set, which is why so many businesses choose us as their construction contractors.

Contact Sierra Group today to get things started and find out how we can help enhance your bottom line.

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