No matter where in Southern California you live, and no matter how long ago your home was built, remodeling and making improvements to your home is a generally a good idea. Whether you are knocking out a non-structural wall to create more space, or creating a backyard that is the envy of your neighbors, improving your home can be both exciting and stressful. The last thing that may cross your mind when you decide to improve your property is a mechanics’ lien or lawsuit, but the first call you make before you sign a home improvement contract should be to your real estate attorney who can help you determine whether the contract you are about to sign is legal and gives you the rights you need to protect yourself.
California regulates the construction industry through the Contractors State License Board which issues licenses to and disciplines contractors. In an effort to protect Californians, the law requires that a contract for home improvement must properly advise consumers of their rights under California law.
If your contractor does not have a valid license for the type of work being performed or does not have a written contract for you to sign, that is a red flag that indicates that you should not be doing business with that person or company. Your choice of contractor affects every other decision down the line, and a wrong decision to hire an unqualified or unlicensed contractor can prove very costly in the long run. Continue reading