State Contractors Board has free information to help protect homeowners

SACRAMENTO - For most of us, our homes are our biggest investment.  Someday, all homes are going to need repairs, like a new fence or roof.  Some homeowners may undertake a major remodeling project.  No matter what the need, homeowners must take the time to learn how to hire and manage home improvement contractors.  Fortunately, the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) offers free tools to help homeowners protect their investments and make the home improvement process easier and safer including the following publications:

  • "What You Should Know Before You Hire a Contractor" - The definitive resource for detailed information about hiring a contractor and successfully navigating any home improvement project

  • "Before You Dive Into Swimming Pool Construction" - A common sense guide to responsibly managing your pool construction project

  • "Tips for Hiring a Roofing Contractor" - A pamphlet outlining the basics on repairing vs. replacing your roof and how to handle the project effectively

  • "10 Tips for making sure your contractor measures up" - A quick reference produced in multiple languages

  • "Choosing the Right Landscaper" - A brochure outlining the steps to take before hiring a landscape contractor.

Visit the CSLB Web site at to download these free publications, or to use our popular online search feature for making sure your contractor is licensed and has a license in good standing.

The CSLB urges all consumers to follow these tips when hiring a contractor:

  • Check the contractor's license with the CSLB at;

  • Gat at least three bids and check references;

  • Get a written contract, and don't sign until you understand the terms;

  • Don't pay more than 10 percent of $1,000, whichever is less, as a down payment; and

  • Don't pay cash, and don't let the payments get ahead of the work

The Contractors State License Board operates under the umbrella of the California Department of Consumer Affairs.  The CSLB licenses and regulates California's 292,000 contractors, and investigates more than 20,000 complaints against contractors annually.