Contractors who work on homes need to know California’s laws

Many construction contractors in Orange County may work on repairing or improving private residences. Pursuing these opportunities can be a great chance for contractors to earn profits that will help them grow their businesses.

However, they need to understand California’s rules regarding home improvement contracts.

The rules require clear language and definite terms

California’s rules about home improvement construct contracts can be detailed and difficult to apply.

If a contractor either has specific questions or needs to have contract language drafted or reviewed, the contractor should consider speaking with an experienced attorney.

In general, California’s laws require that all contracts with a value of $500 be in writing and in language that the average person can understand. The contract must cover several topics, including the following.

  • It has to have a definite payment schedule. The maximum down payment allowed is either 10% of the contract’s price or $1,000, whichever is less.
  • It has to include language which explains when and how the customer may cancel or rescind, that is, undo the contract.
  • It will need to explain who will needed any legal permits needed and will also need to specify when the promised work is to be completed.
  • There are other provisions which a good home improvement contract would also include. Side deals, including deals involving changes in the work or price increases, that are not both in writing and signed by the customer may not be lawful.

If a written contract does not include these and any other topic required by law, then the contractor could wind up in legal trouble. Specifically, not following these rules can land a contractor in hot water with state officials. It may also hurt the chances of getting payment for the work they performed in the event of a dispute with the homeowner.


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