How to Find and Hire a Licensed General Contractor for Your Remodeling Project?

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field remodeling

You’ve been daydreaming about your home renovation on your Cupertino property for months or perhaps years. To complete the remodel, you should work with a licensed general contractor who is qualified, competent, and experienced. You may note that the term “licensed” may additionally mean “registered” or “certified.”

Home remodeling can put a strain on the finances of the homeowners, forcing them to accept a cheaper quote from an unlicensed contractor regardless of quality execution. However, if something goes wrong or the work isn’t up to your expectations, it might end up costing you more in the long run.

It’s worth mentioning that we are thoroughly vetted, and our project head keeps track of the onsite project until it is handed over post a thorough joint inspection. Multiple states, cities, and counties in the United States have different licensing requirements. However, if you hire a licensed general contractor, you can rest assured of quality as far as your home remodeling is concerned.

A licensed general contractor in your area must meet the following parameters:

  • Must pass a contractors exam;
  • Required to carry insurance;
  • Mandated to be bonded;
  • Have been through a legitimate background check.

When is it Necessary to Hire a Licensed General Contractor?

  • Work that needs a license in Cupertino Silicon Valley includes wall expansions, bathroom or kitchen makeovers, and basement conversions. Even if they are working as a subcontractor or specialists with specific qualifications like a plumber or an electrician, they still require their relevant professional license.
  • In California, any project costing beyond expectations must be completed by a licensed general contractor. For jobs costing sizeable amounts, the principal and subcontractors should have valid license. Besides, they must pass a separate certification test.

Is It Required to Check the Local Building Department?

Each state and each county has a different cap on how much of a project can be done without a license. It is advisable to confirm with your State’s and local jurisdiction’s building departments what project size and categories demand the use of a licensed contractor.

Projects worth a modest investment can be completed without a license in Cupertino. Here, anyone without a license may also perform minor renovation tasks like deep cleaning or trimming tree branches. It is quite possible that the most common home repair works, like painting a room or replacing a faucet, will require a certified general contractor, regardless of whether you reside in the city or the suburbs in California State.

Anyone who undertakes a project higher than the minimum in your region without a contractor’s license is breaking the law. If a problem should emerge, there is no accountability other than breaching the law.

Does Your Contractor Have Insurance for the Protection of Construction Workers?

Whenever some problem arises with remodeling, an average insurance policy won’t ideally cover the large-scale events, even though your home insurance may include a few clauses. Your property insurance may pay for water damage, such as a bathtub that has been installed improperly, and you find water leaks in the bathroom. If you directly hire some workers, you act as a fictitious employer. You run the risk of facing legal action if any of the workers get hurt while working on your property.

For the following reasons, licensed general contractors must maintain two different forms of insurance:

  • General Liability Insurance: This insurance category protects the contractor from any third-party claims of property damage or personal injury. For instance, the cost of the damage is suitably indemnified if your contractor’s civil dumper crashes into your neighbor’s boundary wall.
  • Worker’s Compensation: It reimburses any medical expenses incurred by any member of the construction crew operating on your project site. You may treat it as an occupational injury. It also includes lost wages resulting from an accident at work.

Do all states and/or counties in the United States require GCs to have insurance? Even though it’s infrequent, not all jurisdictions demand that general contractors carry a range of insurance. It is best to confirm both the criteria in your jurisdiction in Cupertino and the ones in your neighborhood city or county just to be on the safer side.

What Is the Role of a Bonded Contractor?

Bonding, which frequently provides financial assistance to homeowners when insurance doesn’t provide the same, is virtually mandated for licensed contractors in many State jurisdictions. Bonding is a fund that compensates clients if a general contractor neglects a task, doesn’t finish it, or damages the property in question. The bonding clause is necessary for most home improvement projects.

Your local area in Cupertino will undoubtedly require this unique protection whether other cities make it compulsory or not. Contractors in Silicon Valley must deposit the stipulated amount into a trust fund with the Department of Consumer Affairs or establish that they have a surety bond employing a third party to obtain a work license.

A bond must always be obtained in California through a qualified third party. The general contractor pays a portion of the statutory bond amount to that third party, who accepts to compensate for the whole bond amount, if necessary, in a manner similar to insurance claims.

Is the Conduct of Criminal Background Verification Essential?

The majority of places in California will run a criminal history check on applicants (General Contractors). A criminal background does not necessarily prevent someone from obtaining a license, though. The licensing office will probably investigate each applicant’s biodata separately, taking into account things like the nature of the offense, whether it has anything to do with the person’s ability to perform the duties of a contractor, and any indications of rehabilitation post legal verdicts.

How Does Passing the Contractors’ Exams Impact Their Working Abilities?

Exams are frequently taken before a license is granted. There can be significant regional deviations in the test’s significance and the types of questions asked. To pass the exam in Silicon Valley, a sole proprietor or the partner of the firm controlling 10% or more of the business must respond correctly to 21 out of 30 multiple-choice questions.

The questions mainly integrate building contractors’ understanding of the laws and recommended procedures of the city concerning home building or remodeling. Samples include “What are the penalties for incorrect or misleading representation?” and “Must a contractor give a client a documented estimate?”

California mandates two examinations. One is a general business and law test that all construction industry professionals are required to pass. The second one, such as the realm of a general building contractor, general engineering contractor, or specialized contractor, is more focused on a GC’s field of expertise. The second exam is also mandatory for longer than three hours and includes technical inquiries like “What is the least permissible width of a residential corridor under the California Residential Code?”

What are the Resources to Check a General Contractor’s License?

Always ask for and validate a HIC (Home Improvement Contractor) number. It is made available in many places, and the consumer affairs office of a city or county frequently provides the information. There is an online search engine for California State where you may verify whether a contractor’s license is valid and up to date.

There is a comparable online option in California, where licenses must be renewed every two years. The licensing criteria vary from city to city and state to state in the United States, but the procedure of accessing your licensed contractor will be similar across the board. Some states, like California, conduct licensing on a state level.

Conclusion

The first step in choosing a contractor to deal with is to pick one who is licensed. It is in your best interest to hire your licensed contractor as soon as possible. The GC can provide you with technical and financial statistics that will help you make decisions about the style, spending, and schedule of your next home remodeling project.  At Fields Remodeling, we take pride to be a locally certified general contractor in Cupertino, CA. We offer our all-encompassing services that help a home become increasingly spacious and elegant.