what can you do with a C-5 license in California

What Can You Do With a C-5 License in California?

Table of Contents

What Can You Do With a C-5 Contractor's License?

The C-5 license is a California contractor classification for individuals or companies that specialize in structural framing, custom carpentry, and woodworks. 

There are a variety of services that can be offered if you have this license, including:

  • Specialized framing
  • Wood design
  • Sub-flooring
  • Exterior staircases
  • Custom windows and overhead doors
  • Doors and Trim
  • Door sales
  • Siding installation and sheathing
  • Room additions
  • Gazebos, Decks and Patios
  • Structural framing and home construction
  • Floor joist construction and stair framing
  • Structural rot removal and repair
  • Truss construction and installation

Carpentry Contractors and the CSLB

The C-5 Framing and Rough Carpentry Contractor is one of 73 contractor licenses available in California. Contractors in the state of California are governed by the CSLB(Contractors State License Board)

There are 4 major classification categories:

Commonly referred to as the “C-5 License”, this classification falls under the C-Specialty category.

Expanding your framing and carpentry business in California

Contractors in California can hold multiple licenses. The most common pairings for the C-5 license are typical:

inside look at what type of work you can do with a C-5 license in California. Important information for California carpenter contractors license applicants

CSLB Requirements for C-5 Contractors 

To get a C-5 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
  • Signature from a licensed contractor, fellow employee, supervisor, or business associate 

What carpentry and woodworking concepts do I need to know for the test?

The reason why contractor licenses exist is to protect the consumer public.

Ultimately the CSLB's goal is to make sure that you understand how to perform your trade safely and run a profitable business.

Luckily, you can be brought up to speed on the key topics of the test, so you can pass with ease.

The examination will be 5 parts.

1. Planning and Estimating (20%)

  • Project planning
  • Blueprints, specifications, and shop/field drawings
  • Estimating
  • Calculations

2. Structural Framing (37%)

  • Formwork
  • Load and span
  • Bracing
  • Shear and diaphragm
  • Structural hardware
  • Wood and metal framing

3. General Framing (21%)

  • Flashing and weatherproofing
  • Siding, roofing, and flooring
  • Doors, windows, and stairs
  • Fences, decks, porches, and gazebos
  • Squaring and leveling
  • Access and ventilation

4. Safety (22%)

  • Cal/OSHA requirements
  • EPA and AQMD regulations
  • Asbestos and environmental hazards
  • Transportation and traffic control

What's the exam process like?

The exam will be:

  • 115 Questions Law & Business
  • 115 Questions Framing and Rough Carpentry
  • Multiple Choice
  • Closed Book
  • 3 Hours to Complete each section
  • Taken via Computer at a CSLB Testing Facility
  • Exam Centers in: Berkeley, Fresno, Norwalk, Oxnard, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, and San Jose

Math Skills 

There will be math on your CSLB law & business and trade exams.

Questions will be presented to you as if you are a General Building Contractor with multiple projects running simultaneously with several employees.

You can expect math questions related to:

  • Arithmetic
  • Cost Estimation 
  • Calculating Square Footage
  • Units of Measurement
  • Percentages and Decimals

When it comes to the carpentry side of the exam, it is possible that you may receive questions related to:

  • Calculating the area of a circle or trapezoid
  • Circumference
  • Calculating Volume

Blueprint Reading Skills

Blueprint reading is a fundamental skill for carpentry and general building contractors. Knowing how to interpret plans and is a key part of the job. It will also be on your examination. 

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

Preparing for Your CSLB law & business exam

Our complete license course breaks down all of the essential knowledge you need to be successful on your CSLB law & business examination.

In addition to passing your exam, you will also be equipped with valuable knowledge that will give you a crash course in how to run a contracting business effectively and profitably.

You will learn:

  • Company organization 
  • How to bid effectively
  • Understanding cost control
  • Various contract types
  • Cash management
  • Estimation fundamentals
  • Business Structures
  • Worker’s Compensation and Taxes
  • Insurance Types in Construction
  • Labor Laws and Employee Rights
  • Hiring and Firing Practices
  • Contractor Bonds
  • Mechanics Liens
  • State Laws and Statutes
  • Project Management 101
  • Prevailing Wages and Public Works
  • And Much More!