Monthly Archives: October 2010

CSLS iPad Contest Winner Awarded New iPad

CSLS iPad Contest Winner Karl Menjivar Awarded New iPad

CSLS iPad Contest Winner Karl Menjivar Awarded New iPad

Helping to build futures, today CSLS awarded student Karl Menjivar a New iPad. CSLS iPad contest ran throughout the month of October resulting in one very lucky winner. “I am so excited”, said Karl. “I didn’t expect to win.” Karl is pursuing his C-10 Electrical Contractors License. We wish Karl the best and congratulate him on his win!

Looking for how you too can leverage an iPad for your Construction business? Take a look at the top 5 ways an Apple iPad can help your Construction business save time, earn more clients, and simply make your professional life easier.

Top 5 Ways an Ipad can Help Your Contractor Business

1. In the field sketching / note-taking: Sketching out plans, dimensions and equations on the fly is an integral part of the construction process. For this, the iPad opens up a whole new world of possibilities for accuracy, convenience and organization. This tablet can make sketching a plan out as easy as touching the screen and drawing with your finger. Need a calculator? Flip on over to the calculator application. Need to jot a few notes? Flip on over to the notepad application. Then, when you are done – just click save, and move on with your day. There will most likely be tons of applications that you can download that might make the process even easier.

2. Contract reference: The iPad allows you to store and view your most important documents where you can reference contracts, accounts payable, receivables, as well as popular books. Need a on the job reference guide check out the ibooks option.

3. Portable credentials: How many times have you been bidding on a job and been asked to show some credentials? The iPad could easily turn into your on-the-road filing cabinet. Keep important documents like your certificate of liability, Contractors bond, Contractors license(s), worker’s comp – basically anything that you might need when out in the field or bidding on a project, all in one spot.

4. Mobile Professional Portfolio: Nowadays, people want proof of how good you are. They want to see photos, videos, maybe even testimonials of past customers. What better way to showcase yourself than with your iPad? Show customers slideshows of your work, your website, videos … get creative! Apple is renowned for it’s products’ abilities to create cool looking presentations, so take advantage of it and get some more jobs!

5. Digital blueprints: Many contractors have gotten into the habit of bringing their laptops on the job to reference digital blueprints and plans. Well laptops, the iPad has just one-upped you. Already with Apple’s smaller touch interfaces, you can zoom in to minute details, rotate images, even edit on the spot – all with your fingers. And it’s fast! We can only imagine the cool new ways that a larger screen will allow you to interact with and share your plans on the job site. Paper is indeed a thing of the past.

View more on our website at adapted from Center Networks, by Johnnie Munger)

Contractors State License Services Honors Victor Perez With A Contractors Scholarship

Contractors State License Services (CSLS) Awards Victor Perez Full Scholarship, Fresno California

CSLS Awards Victor Perez Full Scholarship, Fresno California

Contractors State License Services (CSLS) granted a full scholarship to local Fresno California, hero Victor Perez, an unemployed Contractor in the hopes to build a brighter future for a Good Samaritan and hero. Victor Perez, the Fresno Construction worker put his life on the line to save an abducted 8-year-old girl last week. Victor’s heroics and daring rescue has touched the heart of not only local residents to Fresno California but also the President and CEO of Contractors State License Services, also known as, David Mizener.

David Mizener, CSLS’ President & CEO, learned about Victor’s compelling story and that he lacked a California Contractors License through the Media. “After hearing Victor’s story and the request of Governor Schwarzenegger that someone give Victor a job. “I knew we could do more than simply give him a job, we could help him build a future and a business that would ultimately help him provide for his family,” said David Mizener.

The Contractors Scholarship valued at over $1,500 provides full enrollment to Contractors State License Services In-School Law and Trade program which is designed to assist Contractors in passing the California Contractors License Exam. “Our 98% pass rate will provide Victor with a sense of peace knowing that he will pass the first time he sits for the Contractor’s License Exam. In fact, we have helped over 120,000 Contractors just like Victor to gain their Contractors License,” states Maureen Esses, License Advisor. CSLS classes offer live instruction taught by qualified and experienced instructors. The classroom setting allows for individual attention and the opportunity for classroom discussion and immediate response to questions our students may have. Program content is relevant to day-in, day-out Contractor practice and the California Contractors State License Examination such as Contractors Business Law.

Additionally, Contractors State License Services Contractors Scholarship will also cover all the State required fees associated with gaining a Contractor’s License such as the California State Contractors License Application Fee, Contractor’s License Fee, as well as, additional Contractor fees for requirements such as Contractor Bonding fees. “We are happy to assist such a great man with the additional cost of earning a Contractor’s License. The Contractors Bonding requirement of $12,500 will be covered by CSLS as well”, states David Mizener, CSLS President & CEO. “That’s unbelievable,” Perez said. “To become a contractor would be a dream come true.”

Victor plans to pursue the General Building (General B) Contractors License and to attend CSLS’s Fresno School Locations live class room 4 week program. The Fresno school location is one of 25 School locations throughout California for Contractors State License Services along with the Live Online programs nationwide and Home Study programs. “We are excited to assist Victor reach his goal of becoming a Licensed Contractor. We applaud Victor’s first steps to building a brighter future and look forward to helping him achieve his goals”, says Mary Birch District Manager.

About CSLS (

Contractors State License Services (CSLS) is the largest school in California devoted to the Construction professional. For over 25 years, CSLS has helped its students pass the exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California, licensing more students than any other school. In fact, 1 in 3 applicants to the California State Licensing Board (CSLB) have used CSLS to successfully pass the exam. Contractors State License Services offers licensing classes for all types of contractor licenses, including: General Engineering Contractor | General Building Contractor | Specialty Contractor | Insulation and Acoustical Contractor | Framing and Rough Carpentry Contractor | Cabinet, Millwork and Finish Carpentry Contractor | Concrete Contractor | Drywall Contractor | Electrical Contractor | Elevator Contractor | Landscaping Contractor | Warm-Air Heating | Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Contractor, and many others. Contractors State License Services also provides CSLS Contractors with Business Development Services to assist in every aspect of sustaining a strong Construction Business. These include Bonds, Corporation Services, DBA’s, Application Processing, Fingerprint Services, and Insurance Services.

11 Best Construction Books to Read in 2010 and 2011

Top 10 Construction Books to Read in 2010 & 2011

Here at CSLS our Instructors are often times asked for helpful tips on how to run a successful Construction business once a Contractor has earned his/her Contractors License. We love this question and typically will point our students in several directions to obtain the best tips. What we also do is suggest that our students follow best practices in developing a successful construction business. In doing so we found that many successful entrepreneurs maintain ongoing training and development to continuously sharpen the saw (no pun intended). In fact, an old quote says “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” With that said we have found most of our best book sellers are those that provide current Construction industry news, best practices, and tips. The construction profession is fortunate to have a multitude of counselors who are willing to share their insights with their peers. Above is Contractors State License Services/CSLS’ selection of the best books to read for any construction professional or for those that aspire to enter the construction profession. We have diligently outlined books to help you improve your construction business, skill-set, understanding, and increase your customer’s value in your construction business. The top 10 books plus the bonus book aims to provide valuable ideas and tips if applied correctly will help you increase your construction business effectiveness.

Take a look at great books such as Blue Print Reading, Code Check Complete, Contractor’s Survival Guide, Construction Forms & Contracts, and Construction Estimating Reference Data.

Find out more at our Bookstore!

Looking for A Marketing Slam Dunk: Advertising 101…Learn The Basics About Advertising

Marketing Slam Dunk

Learn the Marketing Slam Dunks for Every Contractor Business

Advertising is a form of communication intended to persuade an audience (viewers, readers or listeners) to purchase or take some action upon products, ideals, or services. It includes the name of a product or service and how that product or service could benefit the consumer, to persuade a target market to purchase or to consume that particular brand. Commercial advertisers often seek to generate increased consumption of their products or services through branding, which involves the repetition of an image or product name in an effort to associate related qualities with the brand in the minds of consumers.

Most contractors know that they must include their license number on all advertising. But do you know what that really means and what the laws really say? Business and Professions (B&P) Code Section 7030.5 states that all licensed contractors are required to include their license number in “(a) all construction contracts; (b) subcontracts and calls for bid; and (c) all forms of advertising, as prescribed by the registrar of contractors.” The Code further provides that failure to comply with this requirement can result in a fine between $100 and $1,000 for a first offense.
The following tips for advertising will not only help you comply with the law, but will also help you plan your marketing strategies for success as a licensed contractor.

1. Include your Contractors license number in anything that might be considered as advertising.
Examples include: newspapers, radio, television ads, your business card, any contract proposal, lettering on every one of your commercially registered vehicles (See B&P Sections 7029.5 and 7029.6), signs or billboards identifying your company as a contractor, your company’s website, any soliciting brochures or pamphlets, any clothing or promotional items that include your company name and logo; and any directory listing that states or implies you are looking for work or services which would require a contractor’s license.

2. Don’t use false or misleading advertising, or advertise a price that you don’t intend to honor.
B&P Section 7161 makes it a misdemeanor “for any person to ….[use] false, misleading, or deceptive advertising as an inducement to enter into any contract for a work of improvement, including, but not limited to, any home improvement contract, whereby any member of the public may be misled or injured.”

3. Don’t advertise to do work that you are not licensed to perform.
Contractors who advertise to do work beyond the scope of their license are subject to a fine of not less than $700 and not more than $1,000, plus any other punishment established by the Registrar of Contractors or a court. Such offenses are deemed misdemeanors according to B&P Section 7027.1.

4. When advertising about asbestos removal services, be sure to include your asbestos certification and registration numbers along with your business name.
Contractors must list their asbestos certification number issued by the Board and the registration number required under Labor Code Section 65015.5. The Registrar will issue a notice to comply if either of these numbers are omitted. If a contractor fails to comply after receiving notice, a citation will be issued as well as potential fines ranging from $100 to $1,500.

5. Don’t advertise about bonding.
Contractors are prohibited from including any reference to the contractor being “bonded” in any advertisement, or on any company “paperwork” that could reasonably be considered “advertising”, if the bond being referred to is the standard license bond that all California Licensed Contractors must have. B&P Section 7071.13 provides that any such references or presentments are grounds for discipline and/or suspension of the contractor’s license.

6. Be VERY careful when advertising as “insured”.
CA licensed contractors cannot advertise that they are “insured” unless they state what type of insurance it is. Any reference to “insured” in your company‘s advertising must specifically state the type of insurance you are referencing. Failure to properly identify the type of insurance in the advertisement is cause for discipline pursuant to B & P Section 7027.4. If for example you want to advertise that you carry both commercial general liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance, then it should be stated as such, “We carry Commercial General Liability and Worker’s Compensation Insurance.”

Knowing the law can help keep you out of trouble with the CA State Contractors Licensing Board and prevent legal problems that can arise from mistakes.


1 See Wikipedia @ .
A misdemeanor is a crime punishable by imprisonment in a county or city jail or detention facility not to exceed one year. Except where the law specifies a different punishment, a misdemeanor is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months and/or a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars. See California Penal Code Section 19.

CSLB Takes the Cake for Sting Targeting Illegal Operators + Ten Reasons to get your License

CSLB Web Release shares the latest news regarding the legal necessity for Contractors to operate with a California Contractors License. Here at Contractors State License Services our mantra is to share the news and events that effect our prospective students and students. Just this month alone we continue to see more and more news of targets on illegal operators. In this case the CSLB stings another ten for violating California contracting laws. These news bites further illustrate the need for a valid Contractors License.

CSLB Takes the Cake for Sting Targeting Illegal Operators
Ten headed to court for violations of California contracting laws

SACRAMENTO – Members of the Contractors State License Board (CSLB)’s Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) received a torte and a hearty thank you from a licensed contractor for a sting operation conducted in Monterey last week. One of the ten arrested suspects said he worked for the grateful licensee, which was not the case. The sting operation, on September 30, 2010, was conducted with assistance from the Monterey Police Department and Monterey County District Attorney’s Office.

During the operation, SWIFT investigators posed as homeowners who were looking for a contractor to do fencing work on their home. Those who bid more than $500 were arrested and issued an issued a Notice to Appear (NTA) in court for contracting without a license. California law requires all home improvement jobs valued at greater than $500 for labor and materials be undertaken by a state-licensed contractor. Those without licenses may advertise their services and work on jobs valued at less than $500, but their ads must state that they are not licensed. Licensees are required to put their license number in all ads. Some of those who will be going to court will also face charges of soliciting an excessive down payment. State law prohibits asking for down payments greater than $1,000 or ten percent of the contract price, whichever is less. There is an exception for about two dozen contractors who purchase special consumer protection bonds that are noted on CSLB’s website.

“Many consumers don’t realize the risks they take when they let an unlicensed operator into their home,” said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands. “Those who are violating the state’s license laws are also not complying with important consumer protection requirements, such as purchasing workers’ compensation coverage for their employees.”
State law requires licensed contractors to carry workers’ compensation coverage for all employees. That ensures the homeowner isn’t stuck with medical bills if a worker is injured on their property.

Top ten reasons we hear for getting a Contractors License:
1. To legally operate in California
2. To protect yourself
3. To gain respect from your colleagues and prospective customers
4. To be competitive
5. To be self employed
6. To gain prestige as a professional and avoid the negative connotation that follow unlicensed contractors
7. To enter into larger contracts & advertise without being worried
8. To avoid being arrested and fined by the State
9. To network with other licensed contractors for more business
10. To be able to legally collect for work performed

View A CSLB Sting Operation Video here!

World’s largest solar project moves towards final approval for Blythe, CA reports California Energy Commission approves construction of world’s largest solar project at Blythe.

The California Energy Commission has approved the construction and operation of the project’s four solar-thermal power plants, with the full conclusion of the approval process expected to be reached in October when the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) makes its final decision.

California’s Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said, ‘I applaud the California Energy Commission’s decision to approve the construction of the Blythe Solar Power Project – the world’s largest.’
The Blythe project’s developers said the 1,000MW solar project has a generating capacity equal to the output of a nuclear power plant or a modern coal fired power plant.

Solar Millennium intends to begin the initial construction on two of the four plants that will make up the project, by the end of the year. The four power plants are slated to together supply an annual electricity volume of approximately 2,200GWh.
Thomas Mayer, spokesperson for Solar Millennium, said, ‘Once the first two plants are connected to the grid in 2013 and 2014, we will have implemented the Desertec idea in California: With solar power plants in the California desert, we will be able to supply Los Angeles and other metropolitan cities on the American west coast with environmentally friendly electricity.’
The financing for the first two solar power plants is due to come to close imminently, which will include loan guarantees and grants by the US government. ‘The investment volumes of more than $1bn per plant make this one of the largest infrastructure projects in the US at the moment,’ said Mayer. Power purchase agreements between Solar Millennium and US energy provider Southern California Edison for the first two 242MW solar plants were approved by the California Public Utilities Commission in July.
Solar Millennium is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Solar Trust of America, the US-American joint venture of Solar Millennium Group and Ferrostaal.