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Tips to Homeowners

June 05, 1988|Armand L. Fontaine | Fontaine is president of the Western Regional Master Builders Assn. and a director of the American Building Contractors Assn. He will answer questions concerning home improvements. Phone 213/653-4084 or write him at 6404 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 850, Los Angeles 90048-5510

Question: We want to use stained glass in windows where we want to ensure more privacy from our neighbors. It seems that it is quite expensive. Can you suggest something?

Answer: Stained Glass Overlay, 1721 W. Verdugo Ave., Burbank, applies an overlay directly to the existing glass surface, including safety glass and tempered glass, to give the wonderful effect of custom inlaid stained glass. The application can be done in virtually any area, including ceiling light panels and shower and tub enclosures.

Q: Is California the only state where contractors must be licensed?

A: Most states do not require contractors to be licensed. However, virtually every state on or near the West Coast requires contractors to have some type of license. These are Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.

The other states that require contractors to be licensed are Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut, Michigan and North Dakota.

In some states, the mere registration of contractors is all that is required. In others, such as California, an actual examination and proof of prior experience is required.

Several states require bonds for the licenses. These states include: Washington, Oregon, Nevada and California. Hawaii has a recovery fund as does Arizona.

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