Resources for Contractors in California, CalBX

The Federation of California Builders Exchanges (CalBX) is a partnership of regional California Builders Exchanges committed to providing comprehensive and streamlined plan room services and other specific industry benefits to our collective members within our state’s increasingly complex and demanding business/regulatory climate.  Below is a collection of resources that our members have found useful.

Public Works in California

Don’t bid public works/prevailing wage jobs until you know what’s involved. It’s easy to lose your shirt. Use the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) website to learn more.

California Public Works Labor Law web page – click and learn!

“Skilled and Trained Workforce” – learn about California’s strange definition of a “skilled and trained workforce” and how it applies to >$1million jobs bidding Lease/Leaseback, Design/Build or Best Value.  Click to read overview.

Prevailing Wage Rates
Apprentice Requirements for Public Works Jobs
Federal Davis Bacon Prevailing Wage Labor Law

AB 219 Prevailing Wage for Ready-Mix Concrete Delivery Fact Sheet 

Here’s a good read!  149 pages on Prevailing Wage law – California Prevailing Wage Laws Feb 2016.

Public Works Contractor Registration: Contractors must register with the DIR in order to bid on or perform work on a public works project.
Looking for a registered contractor? Search here.

Tip!  A very useful and easy-to-follow eBook for contractors:  Blueprint to California’s Prevailing Wage, A Contractors Guide.  Written by Western Electrical Contractors Association (WECA) for any merit-shop contractor.  Click to find:
Amazon Kindle (best choice for Kindle devices)
Apple iBook (best choice for iPads or iPhones)
Interactive PDF (best choice for desktop and laptop computers or other mobile devices)


California Building Codes

California Building Standards Commission
Energy Commission – use the CEC’s new Online Resource Center website to learn about:

  • 2013 Standards
  • 2016 Standards
  • Climate Zone map
  • Outdoor Lighting Zones
  • Solar Reflectance Index (SRI)
  • Certified Equipment, Products and Devices
  • Title 24 training
  • HVAC Changeout
  • AB758 / Energy Efficient retrofits
  • Educational Resources

Advanced Framing information from Build it Green (


2013 Energy Code Training — use Energy Code Ace
2016 Energy Codes are finalized and take effect 1/1/2017. Good news: paperwork is simplified. Bad news: requirements for even higher energy efficiency standards ratchet higher still. Included in 2016 are new skill and material requirements. Visit the 2016 Building Energy Efficiency Standards rulemaking web page for more information

Lighting Control Acceptance Test Technicians (ATTs). Start here – the Energy Commission’s webpage explaining ATTs

Certification and Training:

  • National Lighting Contractors Association of America –
  • California Advanced Lighting Controls Training Program –

Wildland Urban Interface Zone Codes (State Fire Marshal) and

Ask the Building Department: If you have a question about how a city or county enforces a code, contact them directly. Use the CSLB’s list of links to Building Departments throughout the state.

Diesel Engines

California Air Resources Board
Off-Road Construction Equipment
On-Road Trucks

More Regulation Resources

Solar Permitting Handbook 2014
Find the original at the website for the CA Office of Planning and Research.


State Water Quality Control Board Storm Water Page

Lead Paint

Lead-based paint repair and renovation certification


Call Before You Dig 1-800-227-2600
Get USA North‘s California Excavation Manual and best practices.

Report incidents and near misses at DIRT. All is confidential, reporting is required.

Electrician Certification Requirements

Find the rules and regs at the DIR’s Electrician Certification website

Americans with Disability Act

Division of the State Architect (DSA) page on Disability Access.

Home Improvement

Read the Building and Professions code regarding construction Home Improvement (contracts, salespeople…)