How are licensed contractors broken down into categories?
CSLB licenses contractors in four different categories:
1. “A” General Engineering Contractor
2. “B” General Building Contractor
3. “C” Specialty Contractor
4. “D” Limited Specialty Contractor
In addition to the General Engineering and General Building categories, there are 42 specialty contractor license classifications, and more than 30 limited specialty classifications, which fall under the C-61 classification.
Examples of specialty contractors are “C-10” Electrical Contractors, “C-27” Landscape Contractors, “C-33” Painting Contractors, “C-36” Plumbing Contractors, and “C-53” Swimming Pool Contractors. The limited specialty classifications include “C-61/D-28” Doors, Gates and Activating Device Contractors, “C-61/D-35” Pool and Spa Maintenance Contractors, and “C-61/D-49” Tree Service Contractors.
Click here to see a list of all CSLB license classifications, as well as a description of each.
In general, what’s the difference between a General Engineering, General Building, Specialty, and Limited Specialty Contractors?
“A” General Engineering Contractors and “B” General Building Contractors usually oversee projects and coordinate the specific licensed subcontractors for a job.
“A” contractors undertake construction of infrastructure and other projects that require specialized engineering knowledge and skills. “B” contractors are typically responsible for construction of buildings, housing, commercial properties, offices, etc. A “B” contractors may contract for specialty work, but only if they also hold a “C” specialty license for that work or hire a licensed specialty contractor do that work. “B” contractors cannot legally do a job if it only involves one trade. If your job requires more than two types of work (carpentry, plumbing, and electrical), it’s appropriate for you to hire a licensed “B” general building contractor to oversee the entire project.
A “C” Specialty Contractor, or trade subcontractors usually are hired to perform a single job. For example, if you need only roofing, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, or landscaping work, you’ll want to hire a contractor licensed in that particular specialty.