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A contractor is a person or company that offers services like construction, home remodeling, painting, paving, roofing, or electrical work to improve your home or property. The decision to update your home can be a big and expensive one, so take your time before you decide to hire a contractor. Be sure to get multiple bids and check references.
Hire only licensed contractors. Anyone performing home improvement work valued at $500 or more is required to be licensed by the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) and should be bonded and insured. Hiring an unlicensed contractor is risky: the quality of the work may be poor and you may end up paying more if your home is damaged, the work is incomplete or faulty, or if a worker is injured.
Verify license status online or by calling 1-800-321-CSLB (2752).
The CSLB also has a helpful summary of what you should know before hiring a contractor: http://www.cslb.ca.gov/Resources/GuidesAndPublications/WYSKPamphlet.pdf, and provides other helpful information including what to do when you have a dispute with a contractor: http://www.cslb.ca.gov/Consumers/Consumers.aspx.
You can file a complaint with the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) online at https://www2.cslb.ca.gov/OnlineServices/ConstructionComplaint/ComplaintFormProcess.aspx or by mail using their Construction Complaint form.