everything you need to know about the B2 contractors license in California

B2 License – FREE Residential Remodeling Contractor Guide

Table of Contents

What Jobs Can You Bid With a B-2 Residential Contractor License?

The B2 license is the newest California contractor classification for individuals or companies that specialize in residential remodeling and minor home improvements. 

“A residential remodeling contractor is a contractor whose principal contracting business is in connection with any project to make improvements to, on, or in an existing residential wood frame structure, and the project requires the use of at least three unrelated building trades or crafts for a single contract” – CSLB.CA.GOV

A residential remodeling contractor may take a prime contract for trades or crafts which may include:

  • Drywall
  • Finish carpentry
  • Flooring
  • Insulation
  • Painting
  • Plastering
  • Roof repair
  • Siding
  • Tiling

Installing, repairing, or replacing:

  • Electrical fixtures, such as dimmers, fans, lights, outlets, and switches

Installing, repairing, or replacing

  • Plumbing fixtures, such as faucets, sinks, toilets, and tubs

Installing, repairing, or replacing:

  • Mechanical fixtures, such as air filters, air delivery and return grills, and preassembled exhaust fans

A residential remodeling contractor shall not take a contract unless the contract includes three or more unrelated trades or crafts.

B-2 Remodeling Contractors and the CSLB

The B2 license is one of 74 classifications available in California. Contractors in the state of California are governed by the CSLB(Contractors State License Board)

There are 4 major classification categories:

Expanding your home improvement business in California

Contractors in California can hold multiple licenses.

If in the future, you are looking to take on larger trade specific projects.

There are several other classifications that would pair with the B-2 license including:

how to get your B2 license in California

Requirements for the B-2 Contractor's License

To get a B-2 Residential Remodeling contractor license you must meet the following basic requirements:

  • 18 Years of Age
  • 4 Years of Journeyman Level Experience
  • Social Security or ITIN #
  • Not Currently on Probation or Parole

You must also have:

  • 4 Years Journeyman level experience in at least three or more trades or crafts for residential remodeling projects
  • Signature from a licensed contractor, fellow employee, journeyman, supervisor, or business associate 

What is journeyman level experience?

Journeyman level experience means that you have a professional level knowledge of the trades in-which you perform.

A journeyman is not a trainee.

A journeyman has the skills and capacity to work un-supervised.

The CSLB will want to see four full-time years over the last ten years.

The years do not need to be consecutive, but they do need to be four years in total. There are several ways you can prove your experience to the CSLB.

It is extremely important to remember…

The CSLB wants you to be licensed. They are on your side. There are several ways you can prove your experience.

Which we cover in this video:

Signature from a Certifier

You will also be required to have a certifier sign off for you.

A certifier is someone other than yourself who can confirm your experience.

This person can be either a:

  • Licensed Contractor
  • Fellow or Former Employee (within the last 10 years)
  • Foreman or Supervisor
  • Business Associate
  • Fellow Journeyman

Whoever you choose must include their information and a brief description of your experience.

You will need to prove experience in at-least three or more trades or crafts for remodeling projects.

What you can't do with a B2 License

You won't be able to take a contract unless it includes three or more unrelated trades or crafts.

Also, you cannot contract for a project that includes the following trades:

(click for descriptions of each license)

You can only work on existing residential wood frame structures. No structural changes.

You cannot make structural alterations to load-bearing partitions and walls

You cannot install or extend electrical or plumbing systems. (You can make modifications)

You cannot install or replace an HVAC system

CSLB Rules and Regulations

Blueprint Reading Skills

As a residential remodeling contractor you will not be allowed to make structural changes to a property or perform fire protection, well drilling, or HVAC work.

However, understanding how to read blueprints is still an incredibly valuable skill that you should have.

Knowing how to interpret plans and is a key part of the job if you are working within a construction crew.

For a deeper look at blueprint reading concepts you will need to know check out this free blueprint reading guide.