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Frequently Asked Questions For San Francisco General Contractor

Q: Do I need to hire an interior designer if I am working with an architect or San Francisco Remodeling Contractor?

A: There are some very talented and professional designers out there who are experts at making sure all the elements in the home will present a unified, cohesive design which suits the space and complements the home as a whole. They can make sure all the elements of the home work together as a cohesive whole.  Unfortunately, there are many people marketing themselves as “designers” whose only qualifications are a subscription to Sunset magazine. This unfortunate group typically has little or no understanding about the cost, construction practicality, or building-code-compliance of any given design. If you intend to hire a designer, you should choose carefully lest you spend a significant portion of your remodeling budget creating a design which you cannot afford or which does not comply with the limits of materials or with building code. Check references!  Many architects can also provide comprehensive interior-design services, however, so a separate designer is not always necessary.  A good San Francisco General Contractor can successfully collaborate with a designer, architect, engineer, and homeowner to make sure the design is developed in attainable direction

Q:How can I ensure that I hire a reputable San Francisco General Contractor?

A: By contacting the contractor’s references.  Ask to tour one of the contractor’s completed similar projects.  Also, always verify their contractor’s license, bond, liability insurance, and workers’ compensation insurance.  The state Contractor’s License Board’s website 

(https://www.cslb.ca.gov/OnlineServices/CheckLicenseII/CheckLicense.aspx ) is the place to start.

Q: What types of licenses and insurance should a San Francisco remodeling contractor have?

A:  They should have a B license (General Contractor.) A valid bond. Commercial general liability insurance of not less than $2mil, with a specific inclusion for work on condos/HOA’s if so engaged. Worker’s compensation insurance. Commercial vehicle auto insurance, including a “non-owned and hired” inclusion for employees driving their own vehicles on company time. The General Contractor should verify and provide written proof of all these same insurances for every subcontractor they bring to any job.

Q: How do San Francisco remodeling contractors usually charge for their services, with regard to deposits and the payment of balances?

A: In California, a General Contractor may request or accept, prior to onsite work having commenced in earnest, a deposit of 10% of the total contract price or $1,000.00, whichever is LESS. Contract payments are typically linked to progress milestones and/or sign-offs for various inspections.

Q: What are some steps that I can take to help ensure that the remodeling goes as smoothly as possible?

A: Choose design professional(s) and Remodeling Contractor carefully.  Avoid the misery of assuming you can act as your own General Contractor by merely hiring all the various subcontractors, picking out a cabinet finish and flooring material, and hoping everything will work out fine. It rarely will, and such projects inevitably cost more and take longer to complete than had a good San Francisco General Contractor been involved from the start.

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License Board’s New Laws Afford More Protection for Homeowners

www.cslb.ca.gov | CheckTheLicenseFirst.com | SeniorScamStopper.com

CSLB #16-15

Contractors State License Board Outlines New 2017 Laws Affecting California’s Construction Industry

SACRAMENTO — The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is providing a round-up of new state laws affecting California’s construction industry that take effect in the new year.

Assembly Bill (AB) 1793 modifies the criteria the courts use to determine if a contractor substantially complied with licensing law under Business and Professions Code (BPC) section 7031. This allows a client to not pay a contractor and to demand the return of compensation paid for work completed if the contractor was unlicensed at any time during the course of work. The new legislation provides the court a modified set of criteria to use when determining if a contractor “substantially complied” with licensure requirements and acted promptly and in good faith to remedy the lapse in licensure once known.

Senate Bill (SB) 1209 provides for enhanced complaint disclosure of legal actions taken against licensees. Under the provisions of this legislation, citations issued against a licensed contractor follow that contractor if he or she is issued another license and allows for the public disclosure of these citations.

AB 2486 requires that by January 1, 2019, CLSB create a system that allows consumers to search CSLB’s website for a licensed contractor either by zip code or geographic area, which should make it easier for consumers to identify and hire properly licensed contractors.

In an effort to establish further safety measures around underground excavation, SB 661 enacts the Dig Safe Act of 2016, and makes several changes to existing requirements for excavation procedures. These include requiring that excavators delineate an area to be excavated prior to notifying an appropriate regional notification center and establishing the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Advisory Board within the Office of the State Fire Marshall.

AB 2286 authorizes CSLB to raise its various fees, resulting in what will be the first fee increase since 2011, and only the second fee increase since 1993. The 10 percent fee increase will ensure that CSLB has enough funds to operate in the coming years. Increases that take effect July 1, 2017 include: The application fee for an original license in a single classification will increase from $300 to $330; the renewal fee for an active license will increase from $360 to $400; and the registration and renewal fee for a Home Improvement Salesperson will increase from $75 to $83.

CSLB will provide the industry more information on the upcoming fee increase in the spring.

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