Step 3: Homeowner Checklists

This step provides a list of some questions homeowners can ask themselves to see if their contract measures up

  • Did you contact the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) on-line to check the status of the contractor's license or did you call the CSLB for status at 1-800-321-CSLB (2752)?
  • Did you get at least three local references from the contractors you are considering?
  • Did you call them and see the work the contractor completed?
  • Does the contract require the contractor get any needed permits before the work starts?
  • Are the permit fees included in the contract?
  • Did you read and do you understand your contract?
  • Does the 3-day right to cancel a contract apply to you?
  • Does the 5-day right to cancel a contract (for those 65 and older) apply to you?
  • Does the contract tell you when work will start and end?
  • Does the contract include a detailed description of the work to be done, the material to be used, and equipment to be installed?
  • If you are making a down payment make sure it is no more than 10% of the contract price or $1,000, whichever is less.
  • Is there a schedule of payments? If there is, you should pay only as work is completed and not before.
  • Did your contractor give you a "Notice to Owner," a warning notice describing liens and ways to prevent them?
  • Did you know changes or additions to your contract must all be in writing? Putting changes in writing reduces the possibility of a later dispute.

Use this list and review all other sections of the Hire a Contractor portion of this website to help you to achieve a positive contracting experience.

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