"For years it's been difficult for our licensees to know for sure what to include in their contracts," said Michael Brown, CSLB's Chief of Legislation. "We've worked hard with the state legislature to consolidate the rules so that they're all under one section of law. This booklet spells out those rules in a straight-forward manner."
A contract is one of the most important tools a contractor uses to have a successful business. A well written contract can help open the lines of communication between the contractor and consumer. A badly written contract can quickly lead to miscommunication and misunderstandings; problems that could land the contractor in court or under investigation by the CSLB.
Among the topics covered in the new booklet:
Putting the Contract Together
Description of Work to be Done
Progress Payment Schedules
Notifications and Disclosure Statements
Right to Cancel Contract
Common Problems with Home Improvement Contracts
"Contractors need to take the steps necessary to make sure their contracts are legal," said Matt Kelly, CSLB Chair. "This publication gives them the tools to just that." The booklet also outlines requirements for newly created Service and Repair contracts. As the name implies, these are contracts for situations where licensees go to a consumer's home for the purpose of servicing or making repairs. Service and Repair contracts are only good for projects that are $750 or less; when the consumer initiated contact with the contractor to request the work; when the contractor does not sell the consumer goods or services beyond those reasonably necessary to take care of the problem; and when no payment is due until the work is completed.
"The CSLB owes a debt of thanks to members of the construction industry," said Kelly. "Not only did they help us identify and develop the needed changes, they worked to make sure lawmakers understood the importance of these changes." The CSLB publishes about two dozen different publications. While many publications help consumers through the construction process, others are geared towards contractors or those interested in getting their license. With the exception of the License Law and Reference Book, all CSLB publications are available free of charge. To order, simply fill out the order form and fax it to the CSLB's Public Affairs Office, or click here.