Before you hire a contractor or handyman make sure that they are properly licensed and fully insured. California requires that anyone who performs any work on your property that will cost more than $500 in labor and/or material must hold a valid contractors license for any work that would fall into the classifications set by the Contractor State License Board (CSLB). This, and valid insurance held by the contractor is for your benefit. If the contractor has employees make sure they have Workers Comp.
To learn why you should choose licensed and insured contractors, get the quick facts in “What You Should Know Before Hiring A Contractor”, a publication of the California State Contractors State License Board, Department of Consumer Affairs. And, take a look at the handy “Construction Project Check-List” when evaluating the contractors you get bids from. Both are included in this downloadable PDF.