Call A Trusted, Experienced LAW FIRM
Tsao-Wu & Yee LLP International Lawyers

Can I file a construction dispute with an independent contractor?

It is the worst scenario you could possibly imagine. You hire a contractor to do construction improvements on your home, whether small-scale retouching or a major remodel. The contractor, who signed an agreement with you as an independent operator, charges you for a quality of work they do not deliver. Jobs are left unfinished, work quality is poor and the outcome may even be more unsightly than what they were hired to repair or remodel. Since you are working with an independent contractor and not a construction company, can you still file a construction dispute with the state of California?

The answer, per the state Department of Justice website, is yes. They provide forms to file a dispute or complaint with the Contractors State License Board either by online form or by mail, and offer a number of tips on hiring ethical contractors and spotting scams. First, they advise that you only hire licensed contractors, and offer an online lookup to verify a contractor's license number. Do not be afraid to ask a contractor for their license number before committing to anything; a contractor who refuses is likely not one to be trusted.

Warning signs of a scam include random door-to-door propositions for work at a highly reduced price, free inspections that result in shocking discoveries and pressure for rapid repair, excessively high down payments and insistence on confirming a contract without time for competitive bidding or comparisons. Take precautions to protect yourself by being wary of any behavior that sets off red flags. Avoid working with any contractor who is not willing to allow for fully transparent and ethical documentation of all licensure and contract expectations.

This post has been for information purposes only and should not be misconstrued as legal advice.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Want To Learn More?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy


San Francisco Office
4215 Geary Boulevard
San Francisco, CA 94118

Toll Free: 800-494-0390
Fax: 415-777-2298
Map & Directions

San Jose Office
99 North 1st Street
Suite 200
San Jose, CA 95113

Toll Free: 800-494-0390
Phone: 408-635-2334
Map & Directions

San Francisco Office
140 Geary St.
4th Floor
San Francisco, CA 14180

Map & Directions

Oakland Office
1110 Franklin Street
Suite 1
Oakland, CA 94607

Toll Free: 800-494-0390
Map & Directions

  • M & A 2017 Awards CorporateLiveWire
  • LCA | Proven Trail Lawyers
  • American Arbitration Association
  • Legal Leaders
  • Super Lawyers
  • The Bar Association Of San Francisco
  • Soba | Honoring The past| Inspiring The Future
  • Arag | Divine Into Life
  • Attorney Search Network | Find The Right Lawyer