General Building Experience

General Building Experience

General Building Experience

General Building ExperienceAre you having trouble with your general building experience outline (or any trade outline)? Has the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) rejected your B general building application because your outline was not formatted properly?

An improperly formatted general building experience outline is a very common issue, and probably the number one reason why applications get rejected. The application requirements state that you must show experience in framing and at least two unrelated trades, i.e. HVAC, Electrical, Plumbing, Concrete, Painting, Drywall, etc. when applying for the B-General Building license.

What the CSLB does not want to see are administrative duties such as, pulling permits, signing contracts, hiring subs, reading blue prints, etc. They also don’t want to see specific projects. The experience outline should be a broad overview of what you do (either install or supervise) on the job site on a daily basis.

I was contacted by an applicant whose application was rejected because their experience was not properly formatted. I reviewed the outline, and although it did contain the necessary framing and two unrelated trades, the outline began with a detailed description of solar installations. While solar can be one of the two unrelated trades, beginning the outline with that suggests to the tech reviewing the app that that is the main focus of the experience. It also suggests that the CSLB tech is incapable of thinking out of the box. Either way, a properly formatted experience outline would include framing in the beginning.

I help a lot of people every week with their general building experience outlines. If you are having trouble with yours, or the CSLB has rejected your app, I do offer an application review service that will save you time, frustration, and cut through some red tape. Click here if you would like to have me review your application and/or experience outline, then email your application, work experience page, and/or the CSLB rejection letter to me and I’ll look it over.


I am a Navy vet and former laborer for a B-Gen Bldg contractor, I built mobile homes for many years, I worked at the Contractors State License Board for 5 yrs, and have been operating a contractors license service company since 2005.

6 thoughts on “General Building Experience”

  1. I just received my application response letter from CSLB (B License) indicating several uncompleted areas. The primary section being certification of work experience. They have recommended I change my experience date to start no sooner that 3//2008, which is exactly 10 years from the receipt of my application. As most careers progress, my journeyman level experience occurred through owner builder projects and working as a project engineer for General Contractors earlier in my career. Over the last 5 years, my construction background includes working as a project Manager for new ground up construction projects in excess of $30MM. Given my experience is related to what a non-performing general contractor typically does on a daily basis, it would seem project management should qualify as a higher level experience. Do you know if the investigation unit will consider this type of experience on a case-by-case basis?

    1. Hello Dan,

      The law states that you can only go back 10 years when providing experience. If your journeyman level work was before then and your PM experience after then, that’s fine. They will/should accept PM experience obtain over the last 10 years.

      Are they asking you to correct the B experience outline you provided?

      1. Hello,

        Yes, In speaking with assigned reviewer, they are requesting I revise my certification of “B’ work experience to show trade duties performed that would meet “journeyman level” experience or supervision of employees. Based on our conversation, I understand that they are not likely to honor any past experience that is beyond ten years, which happens to be the timeframe I acted as an owner-builder for a new custom permitted home. The reviewer also mentioned a case in which another individual provided a letter indicating the trade work he performed had not significantly changed and therefore should be considered. She mentioned 48 months was the requirement for approval.

        1. Hello Dan,

          Yes, the requirement is to show at least 4 yrs of journeyman level or higher experience that was obtained within the last 10 years. You have to provide an experience outline that includes framing and at least two unrelated trades. Do not include admin duties such as contracts, obtaining permits, working punch lists, dealing with clients, hiring subs, etc.

  2. I have first hand experience with this issue. Phil helped me reformat my application using key words, when CSLB found it “unacceptable”. Phil listened to my case. He asked me to email him my application so he can take a look and see where I went wrong. Within minutes, he emailed me different formats of rewording the experience on the app. He did all this without any obligation! My app got posted a few days after. My application went through a lot of road blocks but thanks to Phil, I turn to him with questions and he is always ready to help. He has all the resources and he has genuine interest in your success as a contractor. I hope there are more like Phil. I am so glad I found him on this blog. CSLB just issued my Gen B License 2 weeks ago after a grueling 8-month process but I made it and Phil was there ever ready to help and offer advise.

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