Ralph E. Schoenstein & Sons Construction Company Inc.

How to hire a contractor for your projects.

Where do you start?



 How do I find the right licensed contractor?




This step highlights some of the different things you can do to help you find the right licensed contractor.

Make sure the contractor is licensed.

All contractor advertisements, whether it be an ad in the phone book or newspaper, a flyer that shows up at your front door, or the company's name on the side of a truck, must have the contractor's state license number. You can check license status on-line or call 1-800-321-CSLB (2752).

REMEMBER Most licensed contractors are competent, honest, hardworking and financially responsible. However, most of the problems the CSLB sees could be prevented if homeowners knew their home improvement rights and took responsibility for their project. A responsible and informed consumer can work more effectively with reputable contractors, and can avoid being victimized by unscrupulous or unlicensed operators.

Determine what type of contractor you need.

In California, anyone who contracts to perform work on a project that is valued at $500 or more for labor and materials must hold a current, valid license from the CSLB. You can verify the license on-line or call 1-800-321-CSLB (2752).

ALERT Be advised that unlicensed individuals pose a risk to you and your family's financial security. They expose you to significant financial harm in the event that a worker is injured while on your property, if your property is damaged, if the work is incomplete and/or faulty. Few, if any, unlicensed individual has bonding or workers' compensation insurance. The quality of their work usually doesn't compare to that of a licensed contractor. Don't take the chance in order to save a few dollars. You'll probably end up paying more in the long run.

 Don't hire a contractor if these red flags appear:

You cannot verify name, address, telephone number or credentials of the contractor

No references are furnished.

You are unable to verify the license or insurance information of the contractor RED FLAG WARNING!

Information you receive from the contractor is out of date or no longer valid.

 You are pressured into signing the contract.

  The contractor tells you the “special price” will only be available if you sign the contract today.

You are asked to pay for the entire job in advance. RED FLAG WARNING!

Accepts cash payments only.   RED FLAG WARNING!

A good contractor lets his work speak for itself.

Here are some examples. Please view the “Photo” page for more photos.



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