Certain flooring products are designed to be installed by customers because they involve basic procedures. However, many flooring products require professional installation. In these cases, California residents generally rely on a contractor to ensure that preparation, product estimates and selection, removal of existing flooring, and the installation of the new product are done correctly.
There are many California flooring contractors available for work by both commercial and residential customers. If you need to find a flooring contractor in California use this map to get their address, phone number, and driving directions. Call to find out what their operating hours are and whether or not they deal with hardwood, vinyl, laminate, carpet, tile, concrete, or epoxy. These contractors may provide a variety of flooring services such as installation, refinishing, sanding, cleaning, and repairing.
Most contractors in the state of California must be licensed in order to work on projects that cost $500 or more. The California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) issues the license to the contractors, following an exam and licensing fee payment. To qualify for a CSLB license, contractors also need the following: Contractors Bond or Cash Deposit in the amount of $15,000, Bond of Qualifying Individual or Cash Deposit in the amount of $12,500, Certificate of Workers Compensation Insurance or Certification of Self-Insurance of Workers Compensation from the Director of Industrial Relations, and an exemption from Worker's Compensation, if the contractor has no employees.
An open book examination on Asbestos is given to contractors that apply for a license in California and they are fingerprinted. If a contractor is already licensed or has flooring installation experience in another state, they still must pay the licensing fees and pass the law and business sections of the Board exam in order to apply for a California license. Out-of-state contractors should be registered with the California Secretary of State.
It is highly recommended that homeowners and businesses hire only those contractors who are licensed with the state of California. Consumers can check the qualifications and licensing status of a contractor through the state's online services.
The Department of Consumer Affairs of the California CSLB advises consumers to shop around when selecting a contractor. At least three written bids for each project should be considered. Each bid should be based on the same measurements, plans, and project details for accuracy purposes.
It is not recommended consumers accept the lowest bid without thoroughly researching the reason for the price differences. According to the Department, a lower price could be the result of a mistake or an attempt by the contractor to cut corners with materials and installation processes. Either way, a consumer is increasing the potential for a legal dispute when signing a contract with less items or costs than other received bids.
In addition to comparing bids from different contractors, consumers are urged to learn as much as they can about the flooring project they are considering. Often, a retail store or manufacturer website can provide valuable information about products and installation. When a consumer knows what to expect with their installation, they are much more likely to select the right contractor for the job.
California residents should ask for a contractor's license and picture identification to see if they match. A contractor is required to carry their license number and identification with them at all times. Some unlicensed contractors may offer lower bids, but the legal and financial ramifications are often not worth the initial cost savings. Once a contractor's license has been verified, it is helpful to check for references or referrals.
The Office of the Attorney General in California has a number of resources for consumers in protecting against unlawful business practices, as well as resolving a complaint. They can be found at the the Attorney General's section of the state's website or through this link.
The California Department of Consumer Affairs can be reached by phone at (800) 952-5210.