At OCC Construction we believe in the integrity of our work. We want you to make the best decision for you and your family. Thus, we provide this guide to help you avoid the potential ramification of hiring the wrong contractor.
Comparing Bids: Apples and Oranges
Make sure you are comparing bids based on identical plans, specifications and scope of work. Many clients automatically accept the lowest bid and have come back to us in regret.
When a bid is substantially lower, it indicates that the contractor made a mistake or is not including the full scope of work. It is also possible that the contractor will cut corners or do substandard work in order to make a profit on the job.
Unlicensed Activity Alert!
Under California law, anyone who contracts for or bids on a construction project valued at $500 or more (total labor and materials) must be licensed by the California State License Board (CSLB).
To qualify for a license, a contractor must pass a criminal background check, verify four years of journey-level experience in the trade, pass a trade and license law examination, and post a license bond. Contractors are required to have the CSLB issued license number on all advertisements, business card, bids, contracts, and heavy equipment.
According to CSLB, unlicensed contracting is part of California’s estimated annual $60 to $140 billion dollar underground economy. These individuals do not pay taxes, have insurance or bonds. We encourage our clients to help us and California report unlicensed activity. Please visit www.cslb.ca.gov/ to see how you can help.
For your safety all our general contractors have their pocket license with them on the job. Please feel free to ask to see it along with a photo I.D. You can verify the license status online via the CSLB website at www.cslb.ca.gov/OnlineServices/CheckLicense/LicenseRequest.asp or call 1-800-321-CSLB (2752).
Unlicensed Contractors: Know the Signs
1. Unlicensed contractors often go door-to-door claiming they “just finished a job down the street.”
2. They may pressure you and claim, “If you act now, you’ll get a special price.”
3. Unlicensed contractors either neglect to pull construction permits or they ask you to do it for them. If you do, you are assuming liability for the project, including the contractor’s mistakes.
4. If you see a license number in an ad, and it has a different number of letters, numerals and digits than all the other ads, it may be a fake license number.
5. Be wary if a contractor provides only a P.O. box or pager number. That may mean he doesn’t have roots in the community and plans to move on as soon as people start to complain.
6. Unlicensed contractors often ask for a lot of money up front. Do not pay for the entire project in advance. A professional and licensed contractor will never ask for this.
Ask for References and Work Portfolio
It is never comfortable or advisable to invite a stranger to your home. We encourage you to ask for client testimonials from recent projects and also take a look at the contractor’s portfolio.
OCC Construction wants to ensure that you get a good sense of who we are long before we show up on your doorsteps. Our website has an entire section devoted to displaying the testimonials from our satisfied clients. You will find that we have included the critiques and suggestions as well because we want you to know how important client feedback is to us. Mistakes can and will happen, but the valuable input has allowed us to improve and grow as a company.
Some things in life require visual confirmation, we invite you to explore our work portfolio, a sampling of high quality craftsmanship and design innovation that we are sure you will enjoy.[/learn_more]
Bonds, Bonds, Bonds
California requires all licensed contractors to have a contractor’s license bond of $12,500. This bond is written to cover any project the contractor agrees to perform. Please be sure to check that the construction company you choose carries a license bond.
General Liability Insurance & Worker’s Compensation Insurance
Although not required, we recommend you chose a company that carries General Liability Insurance and Workers Compensation Insurance.
General Liability Insurance helps to protect both consumers and businesses alike from costly on-site accidents, property damage and litigation that can arise out of business relationships.
Workers compensation coverage indemnifies workers for injuries arising out of or during the course of employment. The coverage is required by law and covers bodily injuries sustained by employees while on the job and protects the consumer from lawsuits by employees.