California Contractors News, Notes & Legislation

Jeremy Schaedler

About Jeremy Schaedler

Shortly after graduating from the University of California, Los Angeles with a bachelors degree in economics, Jeremy founded Surety First Insurance Services (formerly Schaedler Insurance), a Northern California based insurance agency specializing in surety bonds for California construction professionals. Jeremy is happily married and the proud father of two young boys. In his free time, he enjoys camping, fishing and shooting the breeze with friends and family.

Contractors Surety Bond Definition


A contractor’s surety bond is a three party contract between a principle (the contractor who must procure a bond), an obligee (the entity that requires the bond such as a government agency, supplier or project owner) and the surety providing the bond.  The bond guarantees […]

By |October 23rd, 2012|Blog|Comments Off on Contractors Surety Bond Definition

Pinterest for Contractors – A Golden Marketing Opportunity?


Social media has captured the marketing world’s interest in recent times as a method to connect and engage potential customers in ways previously unattainable just a few years ago. While many social media platforms have come and gone over the years, none has grown more explosively than Pinterest.  […]

By |October 17th, 2012|Blog|Comments Off on Pinterest for Contractors – A Golden Marketing Opportunity?

Contractors Marketing – Building Brand Trust Online


Establishing trust is essential to successfully marketing any construction business and for many potential customers, the first impression they’ll have of a prospective contractor is through their website.  As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression and with this in mind, there are several elements that are universally effective in building trust online and should be incorporated into the design of an effective contractor’s website.  Below are six highly effective elements that will positively influence trust in a contractor’s online brand and when properly implemented, will also lead to more sales.
 1.   Show That Your Licensed & Insured
Consumers of construction services have undoubtedly heard horror stories from family and friends of a project that went south after an unlicensed contractor over promised and under delivered.  With this in mind, contractors that are licensed and insured instantly have a leg up on the competition over those that aren’t.   Prominently displaying these credentials on a contractor’s website will help alleviate any concerns about a contractor being a fly-by-night operation and is the first step in building brand trust online.  Just keep in mind that CSLB guidelines prohibit contractors from advertising in any manner that they are bonded.
2.     Gather Testimonials
Consumers that are on the fence about hiring a potential contractor can be greatly influenced by the power of testimonials.  Contractors should start by systematically gathering written testimonials from as many satisfied customers as possible and displaying these testimonials on their website.  There are several display options including a “quote-rotator” as uses (see the right side of this page).  Other ideas include creating a “completed projects” section that incorporates customer testimonials with a description of their associated project (see tip 4 below).
3.     Clearly Display Contact Information
The goal of a contractor’s website may vary, but for most, it’s to generate leads for construction work.  If the goal is to generate leads, it shouldn’t be hard for potential prospects to find a business’ contact information on their website.  Very few things are more annoying for visitors of a commercial website than hard to find contact info.  Have a “contact” page link in the header tab bar and the footer of each page.  Also, I’m a big fan of providing the businesses phone number in the top right corner of all pages of a contractor’s website because that’s where many people will instinctively look for it.  Websites that make contact information hard to find give the impression that the business in question does not want to be contacted, which will dramatically affect brand trust and sales.
4.     Gallery of Previous Projects
Having a gallery with descriptions and images from previous projects is huge in establishing trust, especially if you happen to be a remodel contractor.  Potential customers want to know what they are getting when they hire a contractor and pictures speak louder than words.  Contractors should make a habit of documenting projects through the various phases of construction with photos, descriptions and testimonials that can be professionally displayed on a “completed projects” section of their website.  Potential customers will be able to quickly decipher the quality of a contractors work and trust is immediately established when successfully completed projects are carefully articulated and published from start to finish.
 5.     Add Company Staff Photo’s
The internet is full of fraudsters and an important step in building brand trust online is showing the contractor in question is not one of them. Adding staff photos to a contractor’s website not only adds a face to a name for potential customers, it sends a strong message that the company stands behind its work.
 6.     Embrace Social Media
The addition of social media platforms is a great way to build brand trust in a construction business, but with a caveat.  Businesses that tout multiple social media platforms such as Facebook or Linkedin, yet have shallow or non existent social media presences online could actually do more harm than good.  If a contractor has the resources to develop a social media presence online, it’s a great way to build business and trust.  As a side note, remodel contractors should strongly consider Pinterest as a way to market their business online.  Pinterest is a platform that allows users to “pin” there “interests” in the form of images, making home improvement projects a big hit amongst users of this rapidly growing social media platform.


For additional ideas on successfully marketing a construction business online, please visit



By Jeremy Schaedler


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By |September 25th, 2012|Blog|Comments Off on Contractors Marketing – Building Brand Trust Online

5 Simple Steps to Lower Contractors License Bond Rates


Rapidly escalating California contractor license bond rates are a hot topic as of late and for good reason.  Many contractors have seen their license bond renewals increase from around 1% of the bond premium to well over 10% in some instances.  While premium changes of this […]

By |September 17th, 2012|Blog|Comments Off on 5 Simple Steps to Lower Contractors License Bond Rates

How to Get a California Contractors License


Looking to become a licensed contractor in California?  While the process and requirements necessary to become a licensed California contractor are extensive, this guide is meant to provide a rough outline of the general process.  It should be noted that the steps and requirements for […]

By |August 12th, 2012|Blog|Comments Off on How to Get a California Contractors License

Breaking Down The Top 100 U.S. Residential Remodel Markets of 2012


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities in the construction industry are beginning to pick up.  As recently as July, the unemployment rate for the hard hit construction industry dropped from 14.5% in April, to 12.3% in July, while average hourly wages increased from $25.76 to $25.78 over the same period.  While the positive trends are certainly welcome news for those in the construction industry that have had to endure several years of extremely challenging economic times, they still reflect what many contractors already know.  It’s still a really tough time to be in construction.


Residential construction work nationwide has been slow to rebound following the collapse of the real estate market at the end of the last decade.  While most states are experiencing much lower construction volumes as compared to their peeks reached in years past, there are some bright spots emerging.  Overall economic conditions industry and nationwide seem to be showing signs of recovery, though certain geographic areas are experiencing the lions share of growth.

Texas, California and North East Are Top Areas for Remodeling Contractors

According to a recent study by Palatin Remodeling highlighting the top remodeling markets nationwide for 2012, Texas is the clear cut winner with 3 of the top 10 remodeling markets.  Other clear winners include the Pacific Northeast, as well as California to a smaller degree.  While California did not have any of the top remodeling markets, the fact that they had 7 of the top 100 remodeling markets should come as welcome news for contractors looking for more work opportunities.


The worst states for remodel contractor opportunities seem to be Nevada, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana, who did not have any cities in the top 100, although this is not particularly surprising given their relatively small population densities.

Construction Opportunities in 2012 and Beyond

In light of current economic data, it seems unlikely that a sustained economic rebound in the construction industry can occur until overall unemployment rates nationwide are brought down to more historically tenable levels.  Also affecting remodel contractors to a large degree is continued instability in the housing market.  Homeowners are not likely to invest significantly in upgrading their homes if they feel it’s remotely possible that home values may continue to plummet.


By Jeremy Schaedler


This infographic was created by Palatin Remodeling, Inc  , a Thousand Oaks bathroom remodeling company.  (Please click image to enlarge)



By |August 9th, 2012|Blog|Comments Off on Breaking Down The Top 100 U.S. Residential Remodel Markets of 2012