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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get a contractor’s license?

If you want to get a contractor’s license, you should start by downloading either the Residential or Commercial  Candidate Information Bulletin  from the link on my Resources page. This will give you all of the information you’ll need to know before taking the contractor’s license exam, including tips for preparing for your exam, a description of the exam and a content outline, scheduling procedures and exam site locations. The exam is given by computer, using a mouse and keyboard, in a semiprivate testing station at the exam site of your choosing. Before starting the exam, you will be given time to complete a tutorial of the test process on the computer; this will not count against your exam time.

After you read the bulletin, if you have more questions you can call the appropriate licensing board number below, depending on the license you’re interested in, or Paul.

Commercial Licensing Board: 803-896-4686

Residential Licensing Board: 803-896-4696

Paul Calvo: 803-917-1193

What are the requirements for getting a contractor’s license?

You can find links to the test requirements for getting your contractor’s license and the state requirements on the resources page of my website. The requirements are different depending on whether you’re interested in residential or commercial, and whether you want to get an SC Contractor’s license, or one in Georgia or North Carolina. If you have questions, you can call the licensing board at one of the numbers listed below, or Paul:

Commercial Board: 803-896-4686

Residential Board: 803-896-4696

Paul Calvo:803-917-1193

What should I bring to the contractor’s exam prep class?

When you come to class, please bring highlighted books, a few extra color highlighters, tabs, a red ink pen, and a simple calculator. We will go over both commercial business & law and the technical portions of the exams, so you only need to take one class.

Do you have study guides available?

The contractor’s exams are open book, and during the class I will set your books up where you can find the answers quickly during your exam.

The books are not included in the class price. Each contractor’s exam prep class description has a list of the books you’ll need for that class, and a link to the online store to purchase them. You can see a list of the recommended books on this page, and click on the link to purchase them.

Do I need to purchase these books and pay the $500 for the class?

Yes, the books are not included in the price of the class. Please purchase the books in advance of the class so that you can mark them up during class. The exam is open book, so this will be a big help to you during the exam.

When should I schedule the test?

You should wait until after you come to your exam prep class before you schedule the test.

We will spend 8 hours on law and technical during class, and set your books up so that you can find the answers quickly during the test. The recommended study time is about 20 hours, but some folks need more or less time than that, depending on experience.

What books do I need for my exam?

There is a list of recommended books on each exam prep class description page, and a link to where you can purchase them. Each class requires different books. You should buy your books before class. We will be highlighting and marking important sections in the book to help with taking the exam.

Should I take the Residential or Limited contractor class?

You need a contractor to sign an affidavit that you have 1 year of residential experience in the past 5 years to be eligible to take the residential builder exams.

To be licensed as a commercial general contractor you have to have a contractor sign an affidavit that you have 2 years of experience within the past 5 years with commercial work only. The board will not take residential experience, you must have  commercial work experience.

You can contact the license board in Columbia directly if you have further questions, their number is 803-896-4300 and their office hours are 8:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.

The class I want isn’t on your schedule, what should I do?

Specialty contractor classes such as: marine contractor, bridge contractor, asphalt paving contractor, concrete contractor, and many others, are available by request for $650. Contact me through my website contact form with the class you’d like to take and I’ll make arrangements to put it on the schedule.