You’ve read and heard about all the things that can go wrong on a project. Take the extra steps to protect yourself by following these guidelines:

  1. Is the contractor properly licensed? You can check the status of a contractor’s license at: . Be sure that the contractor has a license specific to the work being performed.
  2. Does the contractor carry Worker's Compensation and General Liability Insurance? State Law requires contractors to provide information as to whether or not they carry liability insurance. Are all of the subcontractors licensed and insured as well? If not, you can be held liable in the event of an accident on your property.
  3. Is the contractor an EPA Certified Renovator? Federal law requires contractors who disturb painted surfaces in homes, child care facilities, and schools, built before 1978 to be certified and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. The law also requires that individuals receive certain information before renovating six square feet or more of painted surfaces in a room for interior projects or more than twenty square feet of painted surfaces for exterior projects or window replacement or demolition in housing, child care facilities and schools built before 1978. These requirements may apply to General Contractors, Painters, Tile Setters, Plaster, Stucco, and Drywall Installers, Plumbers, and Electricians. Always ask to see your contractor’s certification.
  4. Will the contractor provide a complete written contract in compliance with the California Home Improvement Contract Law? (Business and Professions Code 7159). Items to be detailed should include: Approximate start and completion dates, thorough description of the work to be done including materials and equipment to be used or installed, price agreed upon to do the work (or hourly rates and overhead charges for work to be done on a "cost plus, not to exceed" basis), payment schedule (down payment must be limited to 10% of the total job cost or $1,000.00, whichever is less), arbitration notice, mechanic's lien notice, three day right of rescission, and statement of where to file a complaint.
  5. Will the contractor provide client references and photographs?
  6. What are the contractor's policies regarding job site conduct? i.e., employee and/or subcontractor performance and behavior, yard and household protection, temporary sanitary facilities, debris removal, daily and final job clean up.

She has an ability to get to know her clients, and translate their style and vision into her work, making the completed job truly what her client envisioned. Her perfectionist nature serves her well!

— J. M.,
Santa Rosa