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Contractors that hold the Fencing License have huge income potential within the construction industry as their services are almost always required in some form.
Fences may be constructed using the following materials:
Fencing is a commonly utilized service, as most areas in the western world use some form of fencing to distinguish property ownership.
Fencing Contractors that are licensed can quickly build a business at scale offering a necessary service to millions of homeowners.
This article will provide you with every single detail you need to know about how to get the Fencing License in California and what you should know before you submit an application to the CSLB.
A fencing contractor constructs erects, alters, or repairs all types of fences, corrals, runs, railings, cribs, game court enclosures, guard rails and barriers, playground game equipment, backstops, posts, flagpoles, and gates, excluding masonry walls - CSLB.GOV
The C-13 License is the classification required in the state of California for all persons looking to bid on residential, commercial, or industrial Fencing projects where the cost of labor and materials exceeds $500.
Residential fence contractors may engage in projects as simple as repairing a chain link fence or digging a hole for a flagpole.
They may design and erect iron gates that extend for miles.
Commercial fencing companies may design large complex fencing systems and also offer maintenance services on a continued basis.
A fence company with the proper licensing may offer a variety of different services.
Their duties may also include planning and estimation cost of materials, cost per square foot as well as assessing environmental and job site safety.
The Contractors State Licensing Board is the governing body for all tradesman in the state of California.
The CSLB's sole responsibility is to protect the consumer public and ensure that anyone charging over $500 for construction services is qualified and registered with the state of California.
The Fencing License is issued to fencing contractors by the Contractors State License Board.
The CSLB administers applications, exams, and maintains a database of all active and inactive contractor license numbers which are public domain.
In many cases residential fence contractors that hold the C-13 Fencing license work directly with a homeowner or companies to complete a specific task like installing or repairing a fence that surrounds a home or commercial building.
However, they may also function as a subcontractor to a General Contractor and continually working on multiple projects over an extended period of time.
General Contractors oversee that the C-13 Fencing Subcontractor has not only executed his duties up to code and to safety standards, and in many cases to the specific request of a client.
Learn more about the General Contractor License.
It is critical for fencing contractors looking to get the Fencing License to be able to read drawings, symbols, and identify specific dimensions on construction blueprints to execute their job duties safely.
Proper job site planning and measurement is a critical part of the job for fencing contractors.
The ability to quickly interpret construction blueprints and execute your duties accurately is an invaluable skill for all tradesman but especially for fencing contractors.
Access the Free Blueprint Reading Course
Containing lead paint when making any alterations to a home or fence built before 1978 are also critical skills for the fencing contractors.
Understanding the health effects of lead paint and proper procedures to contain or remove it are valuable skills for all tradesman working in a residential or commercial setting.
Positioning yourself as the expert and a source of information for your clients is very important in creating repeat business. Learn how to get an EPA Certification in 1 day!
To get a C-13 Fencing License in California, you must meet the following requirements:
You must also have:
Journeyman level experience means that you have worked unsupervised full time for a fencing company, or for a contractor that holds the C-13 License.
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.
The following people may be used as Qualifying Individuals to sign off on your experience when applying for the Fencing license:
Your Qualifying Individual will also need to provide a brief but detailed description of your knowledge and skillset.
The way this description is written will be critical to whether or not your application is accepted. For example:
“Greg is a great guy and has a lot of experience building fences…” will not be enough information for the CSLB.
The CSLB will want to see something like:
"Greg has built, installed and repaired wood, iron, and chain link fences. He has installed security gates and locks" etc.
You must be prepared to submit documentation supporting the experience you claim to have.
The Contractors State License Board gives you a few ways that you can prove your experience.
The CSLB receives thousands of applications per month so there is a good chance they won’t document your experience but if you are one of the applicants that get reviewed you will need to be ready to submit something.
The CSLB does not accept pictures of projects.
The time it takes to get your application processed and assigned a test date fluctuates throughout the year. Typically you can expect:
I have seen some situations where applicants got their test date sooner and some where they got their test date much later.
The most common reasons your application would get held up are:
The Current CSLB fees are:
Having a criminal record in no way stops you from getting a C-13 License.
I have personally helped individuals with all types of criminal records obtain multiple licenses.
The key is to be honest on the application, even if the felony or misdemeanor happened years ago and even if it was expunged.
BE 100% HONEST ON THE APPLICATION, because they will see everything anyway when you do fingerprinting. The CSLB handles criminal records on a case by case basis.
Remember, their responsibility is to protect the public. In my experience, they primarily concerned with criminal charges associated with: Fraud, Embezzlement and Forgery.
Contractor licenses are broken down into 4 categories:
3) C-Specialty classes
4) D-Limited Specialty classes
Each category of license except the D-Limited Specialty license class requires that you pass a TRADE exam in addition to the California LAW examination which is the same for all licenses.
The Exam will consist of:
The Fencing (C-13 License) Examination is divided into four key sections:
1. Planning and Estimation (32%)
2. Preparation and Post Installation (23%)
3. Fence and Gate Installation, Maintenance, and Repair (32%)
4. Safety (16%)
Currently there are CSLB testing facilities in the following cities:
The CSLB will grant you 18 months after your application is accepted to pass both examinations.
You must wait three weeks before retaking the state exam ( $60 per retake ) A 70% score will be required to pass.
Learn more about the Contractor License Exam: LAW Portion
Some things to remember:
Being prepared is the most important thing you can do in ensuring your success on the contractor license exam.
Studying C-13 license test questions a long with explanations and diagrams for as little as 10 minutes a day is a small investment to make, but will increase your likelihood of success.
Make sure you read this, before choosing a Contractor License School!
If you don’t have the 4 years required journeyman level experience to obtain a C-13 fencing license, not to worry.
Your journey begins here. The construction industry is a trillion-dollar industry, and a highly skilled tradesman are always in demand.
Whether you are brand new to the industry, have dabbled over the years or are coming back and want to brush up your skills, there is a myriad of resources available to help you learn the basics or get up to speed.
Generally someone looking to become a fence contractor would want to look into an apprenticeship or certification program.
For a detailed explanation on this process, check out my article: Apprentice vs Journeyman.
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