Building Granny Flats, ADUs, and Room Additions Throughout San Diego County Since 1965

7878 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., San Diego, CA 92111 | 858-248-9711

WARNING: Many Unlicensed Contractors in San Diego County

WARNING: Many Unlicensed Contractors in San Diego County

Unlicensed Contractors in San Diego County

A home improvement/renovation job with an unscrupulous contractor could end up costing you your home! That was the warning from state officials Monday, November 10th, 2014 who announced the results of a statewide sting operation targeting unlicensed contractors. The simultaneous operation netted 112 arrests in 7 cities last week, including 17 just in Chula Vista.

Using undercover cameras, state investigators with the Contractors State License Board posed as homeowners and solicited bids on painting, flooring, concrete, drywall, and other projects.

Under California law, contractors must have a license to perform jobs exceeding $500 in parts and labor. Video from the operation in Chula Vista showed each time a contractor provided a higher quote than $500, they were led to a back room and handcuffed.

“Several of the suspects we targeted turned out to be repeat offenders and criminals with a history of violent crimes and drugs,” said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands. “If you knew their backgrounds, you’d never allow them in your home.”

The penalty for contracting without a license is a misdemeanor. First-time offenders are usually given a fine, Lopes said. The maximum fine is $5K but penalties for homeowners who do business with unlicensed contractors can be much higher in the form of repair costs and lawsuits.

Kevin O’Neill, a licensed contractor who consults with the CSLB, said he routinely fixes botched home improvement jobs by his unlicensed competitors. He pointed to one case where a property owner contracted with an unlicensed metal worker for $24,000.

“The repair was in excess of $200,000!” he said.

The biggest risk comes in the form of liability. Unlicensed contractors do not carry workers’ compensation insurance. If a contractor is hurt on the job, the homeowner – who is technically the employer – could be held liable. The home owner would then have to take care of their medical expenses which in turn could end up costing them their homes!

When looking for a Contractor:

• Ask for their six-digit license number. (And check it online at to ensure the person licensed is actually them. Licensed contractors will include their license number in all advertisements.)
• Be wary of contractors who want payment in cash.
• Be suspicious of contractors who ask for large sums up front. Pay no more than 10 percent of a job up front or $1,000, whichever is less.
• Confirm that the contractor has workers’ compensation insurance for all employees on the job site.
• Don’t make the final payment until you’re satisfied with the job.

Call a licensed contractor #239311: Ritz Design Build (A Division of Budge-It Home Remodeling, Inc.) for all your home addition/remodeling needs!

Visit Us

7878 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
Suite K
San Diego, CA 92111

phone: (858) 248-9711


Awards and Reviews

Latest News