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There are a number of things you should consider when selecting a contractor:

Is your contractor legally licensed to perform the type of work you want done?

In the State of California, and most other states, a company cannot perform work without a license. The state agency in charge of such licensing is the Contractor State License Board. In California, to see whether a potential contractor is licensed or whether a license is in good standing, you can simply go the Contractor State License Board and type in the contractor name.

Who is considered an illegal contractor?

It is illegal for an unlicensed person to perform contracting work on any project valued at $500 or more in labor and materials. Besides being illegal, unlicensed contractors lack accountability and have a high rate of involvement in construction scams. They also are unfair competition for licensed contractors who operate with bonds, insurance and other responsible business practices.

What do others have to say about the contractor you’re thinking of choosing?

Testimonials often contain information about why the author found this contractor’s service particularly valuable and whether the contractor can deliver a level of service that you expect.

Can the contractor perform the type of work I want done?

For projects involving elaborate designs or expensive materials, ask the contractor for pictures of past jobs. It’s important to find a contractor that has experience with unusual installation projects.