Hiring a Licensed Landscape Contractor
Sooner or later, most people will hire someone to landscape their house, an apartment building they own, or a city block of business offices. Regardless of the size of the landscape project you're contemplating, its success may well depend on some careful planning and the hiring of a landscape and irrigation contractor who is licensed by the state.
Why Hire a Licensed Landscape Contractor?
State law requires anyone who contracts to do landscape work to be licensed by the Contractors State License Board, if the total price of the job (including labor and materials) is $500 or more. Licensed contractors are regulated by laws designed to protect the public, are bonded, and must complete four years of journey- or higher-level experience in the same trade to apply for a license. Unlicensed persons, typically, are not bonded and may not have liability or workers' compensation insurance. If you hire an unlicensed person, you may be financially responsible if injuries, fire, or other property damage results.
Workers' compensation insurance protects you in case a worker employed by a contractor is injured on your property.
General liability insurance protects against not-so-natural disasters.
These policies typically offer a minimum coverage of $300,000 to $1 million for residential and at least $1 million for commercial work. Automobile insurance provides additional protection when a contractor's vehicle is involved in an accident on your property.
In addition, California's cities and counties also require landscape contracting firms to hold a valid business licenses.
Landscape contracting firms who apply chemical herbicides and insecticides in California are required by the Department of Agriculture to have a pest control license. This ensures that these firms have had the proper training to apply these chemicals safely.
Contractors must demonstrate a minimum level of competency and financial responsibility to be licensed. All CLCA member-contractors meet this requirement.