What is a C-61/D-41 Siding and Decking Contractor?
"A siding and decking contractor applies or installs all types of exterior siding including wood, wood products, vinyl, aluminum and metal siding to new or existing buildings. This contractor also constructs wooden decks and related handrails. This work shall not include the construction or installation of covers or enclosures of any kind" - CSLB.GOV
The C-61/D-41 is the classification required in the state of California for all persons looking to contract for siding and decking projects where the cost of labor and materials exceeds $500
C-61 Limited Specialty Classification
The C-61 Limited Specialty License is an umbrella term for all licenses that may fall under a more obscure category of construction work. They cover specific areas of construction and construction-related tasks.
If your skill set or business is limited to one particular portion of trade work, you could obtain a C-61 limited specialty license to contract over $500 for your services legally.
Typical duties associated with Siding Contractors
- The process of siding is meant to be the last layer of defense for a home protecting it from the elements
- Siding Contractors install various wood and synthetic products to the exterior or interior of a home
- Decking may include constructing wooden decks
Generally siding contractors duties include:
Due to the nature of the trade, siding contractors typically work directly with homeowners in residential setting. However, they may also function as subs under a General Contractor.
As a result, a prime contractor ensures that the siding subcontractor's duties are executed adhering to safety code or to the specific requests of a client.
The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is the governing body for all contractors in the state of California. Their sole responsibility is to protect the consumer public.
They ensure that anyone charging over $500 for construction services is qualified and registered with the state.
The C-61 / D-41 Siding and Decking contractor license is issued to contractors by the CSLB.
Siding Contractor License Requirements
To get the C-61/D-41 siding contractor license you must prove a minimum of 4 years journeyman level experience and pass a law exam.
To qualify for an exam date you must meet the the following requirements:
You must also have:
What is journey level experience?
Journeyman level experience means that you have worked unsupervised full time for a Deck construction company, or for a contractor that holds the D-41 Siding License.
- A journeyman can perform all of the duties associated with his or her trade.
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.
Signature of a Qualifying Individual
The following people may act as a Qualifying Individual when applying for the siding contractor license:
How to fill out the Contractor License application
In addition, your Qualifying Individual will need to provide a brief but detailed description of your knowledge and skillset. The way this description is written is critical to whether or not your application gets accepted.
“Jim has a lot of experience” is not descriptive enough.
The CSLB will want to see:
"Jim has installed decks made from aluminum, lumber, and metal he has performed siding work on residential and commercial property" etc.
Most importantly, the description written by your qualifying individual has to include the core skills required for the siding contractor license.
Proving your work experience
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 which include:
- Tax Returns
- Check Stubs
- Material Order Invoices or Receipts
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.
Application Processing, Fees and Criminal History
The time it takes to get your application processed and assigned a test date fluctuates throughout the year.
Typically you can expect:
- 6-8 Week Application Processing Time
- 3-4 Week wait for an Exam date
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:
- Time of year (processing time slows down during the holidays)
- Criminal History
- Proving Experience
- Mistakes on your application
Contractor License Fees
The Current CSLB fees are:
Can you get a Contractors License with a Felony in California?
Having a criminal record in no way stops you from getting a C-61/D-41 Siding and Decking contractor License. Thousands of tradesman get licensed each year in California despite having a criminal record.
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. Typically the CSLB is most concerned with Fraud, Embezzlement and Forgery.
The Siding Contractor License Exam
Contractor licenses are broken down into four categories:
1) A-General Engineering
2) B-General Building
3) C-Specialty classes
4) C-61 / D-Limited Specialty classes
Each category of license except the D-Limited Specialty license class requires that you pass a TRADE exam.
C-61 Classification license does not require a trade exam.
You must only pass a LAW exam. The exam is:
The Law Examination is divided into eight major sections:
1. Business Organization (10%)
- Company organization
- Project organization
2. Business Finances (15%)
- Cash management
- Budget and planning
- Financial reporting
3. Employment Requirements (12%)
- Employment regulations
- Evaluation and record-keeping
4. Bonds, Insurance, and Liens (10%)
- Workers’ compensation insurance
- Liens and other remedies
- Other insurance
5. Contract Requirements and Execution (23%)
- Cost control
6. Licensing Requirements (8%)
- Business license
- Contractor’s license
- Activity regulation
7. Safety (15%)
- Training and reporting requirements
- General safety
- Hazardous/unknown materials
8. Public Works (7%)
- Prevailing wage requirements
- Bonding requirements
- Insurance requirements
Learn more about Contractor License LAW!
CSLB Test Locations
There are CSLB testing locations in the following cities:
- San Jose
- San Bernardino
- San Diego
- The CSLB will assign you a testing center based on your location
- The test is not available online
- The CSLB allows you to bring a pre-approved translator with you
- The CSLB will grant you 18 months after your application is accepted to pass the test
- You must wait three weeks before retaking the state exam ( $60 per retake )
California Contractors License Exam Prep
- Getting the D-41 Decking and Siding License is a smooth process if you have the right information.
- It can be confusing to see un-familiar terms used to describe tools or job site practices. The CSLB law & business exam covers a number of different topics.
- Questions are presented to you as if you are running a large scale remodeling business with multiple employees.
- Being prepared and knowing what to study is the most important thing you can do in ensuring your success on the contractor license exam.
If you do not have the experience required to get the C-61/D-41 Siding and Decking Contractor license, not to worry!
Your journey begins here. Generally someone looking to become a contractor would want to look into an apprenticeship for find an experienced person to work with.
For a detailed explanation on this process, check out my article: Apprentice vs Journeyman!
When making alterations to or around structures built before 1978, deck contractors must know how to contain lead paint if it is present. Rules for Lead paint are set by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Lead paint can travel miles through air, rest on soil, and enter air ducts causing potentially fatal respiratory damage.
Decking contractors looking to build profitable businesses must position themselves as experts and the authority within their industry.
Contractors must be a source of information for their clients and community if they want referrals and repeat business. Learn how to get an EPA Certification in 8 hours!
Blueprint Reading Course
Deck contractors should be able to read designs and symbols on construction blueprints.
If installation or repair is part of a larger project, being able to execute their duties within the larger scope of the job is essential.
Reading blueprints is an invaluable skill for all tradesman but can be especially important for deck contractors.
Check out our Free Blueprint Reading Course!
Getting a Contractor license for Siding and Deck construction can be a huge step up in your career if you are looking to start your own company or become an RMO for an existing firm!
The key is to take action and follow these steps from beginning to end.
If you have found this article helpful feel free to drop a comment below and be sure to check back for updates!