Is the New B-2 Remodeling Contractors License Right for Your Contracting Business

Is the New B-2 Remodeling Contractors License Right for Your Contracting Business?
Last year, California’s government proposed and approved a law that would create a new license for remodeling contractors. This license, called B-2, is somewhat different from other contractor licenses. 

Here’s what you need to know about the new license and how you can determine if it is the right path for your contracting business.

What is the B-2 License Classification?
The B-2 license relates specifically to residential remodeling contracting. In essence, the California State Licensing Board created a license for people who want to remodel buildings, not build them from the ground up. The license involves specific remodeling work related to at least three trades from a list of 12 qualified options, such as drywall, insulation, flooring, and more. Some services aren’t included on the list, which means that contractors would need another license to perform those.

How Does B-2 Compare to other Class B Contractor Licenses?
The General Building Contractor license typically referred to as Class B, is not the same as a B-2 remodeling license. Contractors who hold a Class B license are allowed to take projects where they are building a wood-frame structure that requires at least two unrelated trades to complete. It’s a more complicated license with a lot more on the line than remodeling. By comparison, someone with a B-2 license would need a different license to create a building or significantly renovate an existing one.

What Are the Limits of the B-2 License?
Since the B-2 license has lower criteria than the standard Class B license, there are several limits:

  1. Contractors must stick to the list of available services they can perform under the license.
  2. They cannot make significant changes to the building’s plumbing or mechanical aspects unless they carry a license for it.
  3. They must not change the layout of the structure as it relates to load-bearing walls.

Anyone who expects to do more than this may need to consider the Class B license instead.

Which Contractors May Be a Good Fit for B-2 Licenses?
Many contractors could perform a variety of possible services. Still, they are seriously limited by the type of licenses they can get to do them. 

For example, if you have a license to install drywall but you also have a lot of experience replacing flooring, you might be missing out on certain projects because you aren’t licensed to do all aspects of a project that a client needs. The B-2 license could be a reasonable bridge for various finishing aspects of a remodeling project where it might be difficult to obtain multiple classifications at once.

When Does the B-2 License Become Available?
The new law only went into effect in October, and the CSLB is working to build workshops and the exam. That way, people who want to get the license can start applying in the spring and possibly receive their licenses as early as late summer. If you’re interested in applying for the license, you’ll want to watch industry news and updates to the schedule.

California is about to offer a special license for contractors who work only in remodeling for specific kinds of projects. The B-2 license may make it easier for you to become a licensed contractor, mainly if this is the kind of work you want to do for your contracting business. To learn more about state licensing, visit CSLS today!