For 2021, the California State Licensing Board has introduced a new type of contractor classification. The B-2 classification relates to specific types of remodeling work. It’s not quite the same as a B classification, and there are a few differences you should know about. Here are several important details about the new classification, with tips to determine if it might be right for you.
Class B Licenses vs. B-2 Licenses
Contractors who hold a Class B license are considered general building contractors. They are allowed to create a structure from nothing or to supervise others in the construction of buildings that require more than two unrelated trades. As such, a general contractor is a role that requires a lot of experience and knowledge of various types of trades, even if a person does not necessarily carry a specialty license in all of them. Of course, there are limitations to the types of projects that a general contractor can accept without a specialty license, like fire protection or well drilling.
By comparison, the B-2 license is meant for existing structures only. Imagine that you’re a homeowner and you want to renovate a room in your house. You want new drywall, flooring, and painting, but you’re not making any changes to the structure of the room itself. You could hire individual contractors for each of these, but many homeowners don’t want the hassle. The B-2 license was designed to allow contractors to meet a variety of these needs at once, as long as they stick to a setlist of 12 types of services and obtain a specialty license for any others they plan to offer.
B-2 License Limits
There are a few common-sense limitations to the services that B-2 remodeling contractors can offer. As a general rule, they relate to the support of the structure and the function of its major systems. For example, someone who only holds a B-2 classification won’t be permitted to change load-bearing aspects of the building, such as changing the foundation or relocating a load-bearing wall. They also can’t update the electrical, plumbing, or any mechanical aspects of the building if they don’t hold a specialty license to do it.
Practical Uses of the B-2 License
Many experts are lauding the creation of this new license as a way to legitimize popular handyman services in California. If you’re a jack of all trades and you love to work on multiple aspects of a project and see it come to a fine completion, the license might be the right fit for you. You’ll still need to prove your experience and take an exam like you would for other licenses, and these requirements will be available in time.
New License Rollout
Since this new law creates a license for a busy field in construction, it’s not surprising that many people may be looking forward to the ability to apply for it. The CSLB needs time to create a program that helps people discover what knowledge they will need to prove for the exam and start to process applications. At present, they hope to start accepting applications in spring and approve the first licenses by the end of the summer.
If you’ve always wanted to work in remodeling, now might be a good time to start. California has a new license that might be the perfect fit for you. For more information about how you can become a licensed contractor, contact CSLS today!