Tips for dealing with contractors

The Contractors state license board has guides and pamphlets to help you in your dealings with contractors.

The logo link below will take you to the Guides and Pamphlets page of the Department of Consumer affairs.

Tip: Today’s pressure treated fir has amine copper quat (ACQ) in it. The copper will react with steel over time and corroded it. If the framing in your project uses pressure treated fir then you must use either stainless steel, triple zinc or hot dipped galvanized hardware or risk the fasteners corroding and falling apart. I have seen steel hardware corroded by amine copper quat many times. This can be a very serious problem. If your hardware fails your structure could come down with you on it.

Tip: All contractors are required to post their license number on all advertisements. Including their truck, if they are advertising on it. All California state contractors license numbers have six digits. If any numbers are missing or there are extra numbers the contractor may not be what he says he is. A business license is not a license to contract. You need a contractors license issued by the California’s contractor licensing board to contract in the state of California.

Tip: You can tell how long a contractor has been licensed by how low his or her number is. The lower the number the longer the contractor has been in business legally. If a contractor has a number that starts in the eights or nine hundred thousands then the contractor is a newly licensed contractor.

Tips on permits and fence laws

Tip: A fence within the first 16′ of a street or driveway. Can “legally” only be 4′ high with the top 1′ being 80 percent open.

Tip: A side or back fence can only be 6′ high without a permit. If you want to go up to 8′ high, all building departments will require you to get a permit. If both side and or back neighbors are on friendly terms and agree to the fence being above 6′ in height. Then you probably will not have a problem if you don’t get a permit. Most building departments will not red tag a fence at 7′-8′ high unless someone complains about it, but it can happen.