Contractors State License Board Offers Free Swimming Pool Construction Book
SACRAMENTO — Just in time for swimming pool season, the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is offering a free publication about pool construction. Before you dive into swimming pool construction . . . is a 19-page consumer-friendly booklet that covers the basics from hiring a swimming pool contractor and dealing with the construction process to handling problems.
Of the 278,580 CSLB contractors licenses in 2000-2001, 1,976 of them were issued to swimming pool contractors. The number of complaints against swimming pool contractors increased from 476 in 1999-2000 to 676 in 2000-2001. Before you dive into swimming pool construction . . . addresses typical concerns about the swimming pool construction process and provides consumers with information to help them avoid problems.
Common complaints about swimming pool construction addressed in this booklet include:
- Frontloading: This practice occurs when contractors take illegally excessive down payments or take payments for work not completed.
- Hiring a contractor: Homeowners need to find out who they are dealing with - the licensed contractor or the contractor's registered home improvement salesperson (HIS).
- Failure to pay subcontractors: If the swimming pool contractor fails to pay subcontractors or material suppliers, a lien can be placed on the consumer's home.
- Change orders: Changes in the pool plans should be handled legally by using signed change orders.
- Inspections: As a general rule, a building permit and inspection are required for swimming pool construction.
"Homeowners can avoid problems with contractors by exercising their rights and responsibilities: use caution, take your time, and check with the CSLB before hiring swimming pool contractors," said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands.
Before you dive into swimming pool construction . . . can be viewed online at www.cslb.ca.gov. It can also be ordered online, by calling (800) 321-CSLB, or writing to CSLB Publications, P.O. Box 26000, Sacramento, CA 95826.
The CSLB urges consumers to follow these tips when dealing with a building contractor:
- Hire only licensed contractors and ask to see the license
- Verify the contractor's license by going online at www.cslb.ca.gov or calling toll-free at (800) 321-CSLB
- Do not pay more than 2 percent or $200, whichever is less, as a down payment on swimming pool construction
- Do not pay cash, and do not let the payments get ahead of the work
- Get three bids, check references, and get a written contract.
The CSLB, which operates under the umbrella of the California Department of Consumer Affairs, licenses 278,000 contractors in California and investigates approximately 25,000 complaints against licensed and unlicensed contractors every year.
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