Only 10 Percent

The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is alerting California consumers who are considering hiring a painter, landscaper, or any other type of construction contractor that it is illegal to ask for or accept a down payment of more than 10 percent of the total home improvement contract price or $1,000, whichever is less. A person should never pay for work before it is completed, or pay for materials before they are delivered to the property.

Make sure the written contract contains a progress payment schedule that outlines project phases, with all costs and estimated completion dates.

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