Investing in California real estate often requires repairs or renovations. Some real estate investors have the expertise to perform the work themselves. But everybody else must rely on contractors to renovate existing improvements on real property, or build new improvements from the ground up. California real estate investors must carefully research prospective contractors, and the should maintain close communication throughout the project.
Requirements for California Contractors
California law defines the term “contractor” as any individual or business that is able to “construct, alter, repair, add to, subtract from, improve, move, wreck or demolish” any improvement to real property. A license is required for any project valued at $500 or more.
The Contractors State License Board (CLSB) licenses contractors in three main categories: general engineering, general building, and specialty. Real estate investors commonly use contractors licensed in the latter two categories. The CLSB licenses specialty contractors in dozens of subcategories, such as insulation, framing, drywall, HVAC, landscaping, plumbing, and welding. Investors can research the status of a contractor’s license on the CLSB’s website.