Dishonest Contractors

Sadly, despite the licencing requirements put forward by the State of California (, we frequently run into potential clients who have had the misfortune of using either a dishonest licensed contractor, or an unlicensed company or individual.

Recently, JLH Construction worked for a client who had previously used what they believed was a legitimate contractor.  This firm even claimed to be a “preferred installer” for a popular siding brand.  We arrived to repair the damage caused by this firm when the homeowner was forced to throw them off the job.  The work that the other firm had done could only be described in one of two ways, either incompetence or just plain sloppy.

JLH Construction is very proud to have corrected the damage and shoddy work, and left the property with very happy satisfied clients.

Moral of the story is to always research your contractor.  Check the CSLB (, ask for references, drive by previous projects, etc.  If a “contractor” encourages you to not pull permits if they are necessary or promises you a great deal, that should raise red flags.  With contractors, the old saying, its too good to be true is sadly seen too often.

JLH Construction prides ourselves on being a company of the utmost integrity, professionalism and craftsmanship.  While we typically won’t be the lowest bidder, we will provide the top results in the end.


Talking about budgets often make people nervous when meeting with a contractor.  The fear is, that acting like a salesperson, the contractor will bid right at that budget.  While some unscrupulous people may conduct business in that manner, we at JLH Construction find a budget discussion crucial for an accurate bid.

The reason budget is so important is not so we can test the waters as to how much to charge, but rather to gauge where are client’s needs, tastes and budgets come together.  Fixtures and finishes can vary greatly in cost and in the absence of specified fixtures and finishes without knowing the target budget, it can be a difficult task to come up with a solution that a client will be happy with.

JLH Construction wants to build our clients’ dreams, so by working with a realistic budget, together, we can meet that goal!

Construction Season Heats Up

As you’ve probably noticed as the spring turns to summer, construction activity is turning brisk in our neighborhoods.   At JLH Construction we never are to busy for our clients.  While many homeowners complain of contractors not returning calls, we pride ourselves in always treating each and every call, regardless of the size of job with the utmost importance.  While it’s true this is a busy season every potential client deserves courtesy.  Also remember it’s never too late to start planning a project, so give us a call and let us build you dreams!

“Why is there such a big difference in prices?”

In the construction business, we hear that question alot.  Tried and true advice to homeowners is to get three bids on a home improvement project, but are all bids created equally?  The answer is a resounding “no”.  More appropriate advice should be for a homeowner to request three “qualified bids”, and there is a big difference.

In California, a “Contractor” is defined as an individual or company that undertakes improvement/repair on a structure worth over $500.  These days, $500 doesn’t go very far, and one would venture a guess that almost all home improvement projects surpass this threshold.  State law further defines that a Contractor must hold an active license issued by the Contractors State License Board in the ‘class’ that contractor operates.  The licensing process requires that the contractor pass examinations in both his/her trade as well as business law.  The contractor must also meet specific financial requirements and secure a ‘contractor bond’.

In comparing bids, it is important to verify a contractor’s license for authenticity, status and appropriate class.  All to often, unsuspecting homeowners receive bids from .’contractors’ who are using another individual’s license, are unlicensed entirely, or are working outside of their class (e.g. a plumber completing a carpentry job).  In addition, any contractor who has employees is legally required to carry worker’s compensation insurance.

Companies and individuals who violate these laws are frequently able to present bids which are significantly lower than those of legitimate contractors.  Not only is the person/company breaking state law, but they are also placing the homeowner in a position of liability for employee injury and/or property damage that may occur.

When comparing project bids, be sure to compare quality, competency, experience and legal compliance.  A bid that appears to be a ‘great deal’, may in fact be filled with cut corners and legal defects.

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Myth of Holiday Time Projects

As contractors we frequently hear clients say, “holiday time is a bad time to undertake a remodeling project.”  While that may be true to people who are hosting parties and family, to people who may travel, or who can simply deal with a little inconvenience, the holiday season can be a great time to remodel.

Typically November and December are slower in the remodeling industry, which for a savvy client willing to cope with a little disruption in their home, can translate into significant cost savings.  With the decreased demand, labor and suppliers typically have increased availability and frequently decreased cost.  The dream finish that might otherwise be slightly out of reach may become attainable for a client who undertakes a holiday time project.

JLH Construction always takes the extra steps necessary to protect our clients living environment from unnecessary construction inconvenience, and we welcome the chance to build your dreams no matter what time of year.