This is a special advertising section. The material was prepared by the advertising department and did not involve the reporting or editing staff of The Press Democrat.
There are groups of transient criminals that pose as door-to-door home repair contractors who rip off homeowners throughout California with painting, roofing, and paving scams. Not every door-to-door solicitor or family-owned business operates in this way; however, the Contractors State License Board urges consumers to be wary and to watch for any of these “red flags.”
— Often related by family, and solicit door-to-door
— Come across as friendly, but can use high-pressure or scare tactics
— Are reluctant to give an up-front price or provide a written contract, and increase the price after the project is under way or completed
— Demand payments in cash
— Immediately cash checks (sometimes changing the amount before cashing)
— Drive customized newer vehicles with out-of-state license plates
— Use toll-free (800) telephone numbers instead of local numbers
— Have post office boxes or suite numbers instead of actual street addresses
— Target the vulnerable, like elderly or recent immigrants
— Offer complimentary inspections and then offer to fix “problems”
— Claim they have left over material from another job at a cheap price
— Claim they’ll use a “sealant” but actually apply a useless, watery liquid that they spray on roofs, fences, or driveways
— Push a few new wood shakes under old roofing shakes and apply a useless oil
— Charge by the can for painting and then exaggerate the amount they say was used
Tips to Avoid Being Scammed:
— Watch out for door-to-door solicitations — especially when they want to start work immediately
— Be aware that your contractor must notify you of your right to cancel within three (3) days of signing a contract
— Be a good neighbor and report any suspicious home improvement activity if your neighbor is elderly or otherwise vulnerable
— Get free information from the CSLB, like “10 Tips for Making Sure Your Contractor Measures Up”
If you or a neighbor have hired or been solicited by someone fitting the description of these traveling criminals, please contact the Contractors State License Board in Northern California at (916) 255-2924.
The Contractors State License Board receives and processes applications for new contractor licenses; additional classifications and certifications, renewals, and changes to existing licenses; home improvement salesperson registration applications; and maintains the license and historical records of disciplinary actions taken against licenses.
Headquarters directs the activities of the field offices and initiates all disciplinary actions resulting from investigations. Field office staff investigates complaints against licensed and unlicensed contractors.
Location: CSLB Contractors State License Board
9821 Business Park Drive
Sacramento, CA 95827
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 26000
Sacramento, CA 95826
24-Hour Licensing and Consumer Information:
(800) 321-CSLB (2752)
Outside California: (916) 255-3900
Bond Unit Fax: (916) 255-4023
Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time
What You Should Know About Civil Judgments
Section 7071.17 of the Business and Professions Code requires contractors notify the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) of any unsatisfied “construction related” civil court judgment within 90 days of the judgment date.
The same law applies to arbitration awards unless the arbitration was provided by the CSLB. If the CSLB is notified of the judgment in a timely manner, the contractor is given another 90 days to resolve the judgment. If the judgment is not resolved within that 90 days, the license is suspended until the judgment is resolved. If the contractor fails to notify the CSLB of the judgment within the required 90 days then the contractor’s license is suspended upon notification. Any party to the judgment can notify the CSLB of the judgment.