Legal Requirements

I’m constantly amazed by people’s lack of knowledge or interest in the subject of licensed contractors. Our state is very explicit about requiring any person engaging in construction work to be licensed by the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) in the category in which the contractor will be working (for landscapers it is C-27). This applies to work exceeding $500.00 (materials and/or labor). Sadly, I too, often hear homeowners’ tales of woe due to poor workmanship, performance, or payment for no performance at all. While a State Contractors License doesn’t guarantee a high level of workmanship per se, it does protect the homeowner in many ways.Mark McCabe Landscape

One of the best sources of information regarding this very important topic is a pamphlet titled “Choosing the Right Landscaper” by the CSLB. You can request a copy by calling (800) 321-CSLB or visiting their website at The California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) is another excellent resource. Their phone number is (916) 830-2780, and their website is at

Protect your investment and avoid potential problems by spending some time researching a contractor’s license and reputation. Licensed, established landscape contractors should carry the necessary liability and workman’s compensation insurance, as well as adhere to safe working conditions and a living wage pay scale for their staff. Support legal legitimacy and economic fair play by hiring only licensed contractors!