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Construction Checklist: Home Improvement Project

Updated: Jul 6, 2022

Construction Checklist

Use this checklist before starting your next home renovation project to help safeguard yourself from potential future liability:

1. Ensure your contractor is licensed with the California State License Board (CSLB)

Any contractor who engages in the home improvement business or provides home improvement goods or services on and after July 1, 2000, must be certified as a home improvement contractor by the Contractors State License Board.

2. If you’re working with someone who solicits, sells, negotiates, or executes the construction contract on your project, make sure they are registered with the CSLB unless they fall under one of the exceptions listed in Business & Profession Code § 7152(c) or § 7068

A home improvement salesperson must register with the Contractors State License Board in order to engage in the business of, or act in the capacity of, a home improvement salesperson. Failure to have, at the time of the sales transaction, a current and valid home improvement salesperson registration is a misdemeanor and may subject both the salesperson and the contractor to penalty and disciplinary action.

3. Ensure your contract is in writing

4. Ensure your contract meets the following specific criteria:

  • Contractor’s name, business address, and license number.

  • If applicable, the name and registration number of any home improvement salesperson that solicited or negotiated the contract.

  • The heading “Home Improvement” in at least 10-point boldface type.

  • A 12-point boldface statement informing the buyer that he or she is entitled to a completely filled-in and signed copy of the contract before work may be started.

  • The heading “Contract Price” followed by the amount of the contract.

  • If applicable, the heading “Finance Charge” followed by the amount of the charge.

  • The heading “Description of the Project and Description of the Significant Materials to be Used and Equipment to be Installed” followed by that information, including if relevant, a plan and scale drawing of any swimming pool to be installed including the construction and equipment specifications.

  • If a down payment will be charged, it may not exceed the lesser of $1,000 or 10 percent of the contract price and its details must be set forth in a statutory format.

  • If any progress payments are to be made, the contract must include (a) a schedule of those payments with specific reference to the amount of each payment and the amount of work or services to be performed and any materials and equipment to be supplied in connection with each payment, and (b) a statutorily prescribed statement informing the buyer about the nature of the schedule with a notice that, while a contractor may require a down payment, it is unlawful for the contractor to collect payment for work not completed or materials not yet delivered.