8 Questions to Ask Before Buying Modular Products in California

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Albeit newer to the construction industry, modular construction has been around for over two decades and is no different than traditional construction when it comes to licensing requirements, contractor responsibility, safety, durability, and installation. For those reasons alone always protect yourself when hiring a modular company / contractor by asking the right questions, and do your research.

1. Are they a contractor?

The first thing to do before hiring a contractor is to check if the person / company you are considering is licensed to build in California. Search the Department of Consumer Affairs State License Board website by their company name, or a person’s name. If they are not listed, then run. By NOT being licensed your business will be solely responsible if something goes wrong.

Special Note: Do not let a contractor just tell you that the person doing the work is licensed or “I am using someone else’s license.” Do your research and get proof. You can’t borrow or use someone else’s driver’s license or contractor’s license in California.

2. Is the person doing the work a contractor?

There are countless stories of people losing their careers and companies getting sued because they did not check for the proper insurances and licenses. Don’t let this happen to you. Many times, sub-contractors are hired by contractors to do the work on site. Unfortunately, there are instances where untrained workers, unfamiliar with the install of modular products, are hired. Just as in traditional construction, check to make sure subcontractors are familiar with the modular product they are hired to install, and that they are insured or, on the payroll of the person you bought the product from. If this person operates their own company, make sure they have the proper contractor’s licenses, insurance and bonds necessary. That way you are covered if anything goes wrong.

3. Do they have General Liability Insurance?

More often than we’d like to think, many companies operate without any insurance at all. If they have it, the policy should clearly state the producers’ name, insured person’s name, a policy number and the effective and end dates. In addition, it will show the limits of coverage. There will also be a place on the bottom that identifies the certificate holder which is where your company name and address should be listed.  View an example by clicking this link.

4. Are they Bonded?

A contractor license bond is a very important type of security that actually serves a purpose among the different parties involved in a contractor project. A contractor’s license bond not only helps you as the contractor, but helps others who could be involved and affected by unethical or costly business decisions.

Contractor’s license bonds legally protect the following three parties: you, the contractor; the company who hired you; and the state bond issuing agency.  By getting the contractor license bond, you are ensuring that you will always provide ethical and professional services. It also protects the public in that you, and the company that hired you, are indicating that you will provide professional services that will do no harm to them. Should someone be negatively affected by an unethical decision made, then they can file against the bond for financial recompense.

5. Are they a manufacturer or a reseller?

Laws in California are very strict for Contractors. Unless they are a manufacturer you should only be asked to provide 10% or $1000.00, whichever is less, when starting a job. You should never pay for more than the performance of the work that is being completed. Remember, they are not a manufacturer you are only buying materials and labor to install. Read more about the laws in California including, what should be included in the contract.

6. Do you know who you are doing business with?

With technology today, you have the ability to find out who you are doing business with at the touch of a button. If they are operating from a house or a PO Box, you should be very cautious. Often times these businesses shut down quickly and disappear instantaneously. If you want to research more via the web, click here. If you don’t have the time, assign the research to an intern or junior employee. But never skip this step.

7. What are 20-day lien notices?

A 20-Day Preliminary Notice, also known simply as a Preliminary Notice, is filed with the County Clerk-Recorder Department by a contractor, subcontractor or material supplier to inform a property owner, direct contractor, project lender or other interested party that they are working on a project and have a right to file a Mechanic’s Lien in the event they are not paid. Preliminary Notices must be filed 20 days from first furnishing labor or materials.

This means that you should not pay the person you have a contract with until you have received confirmation that the bill has been paid. If you do pay them and they don’t pay the contractor or material provider, they can put a lien on the property and in extreme cases, seize the property, auction it off and provide the proceeds back to the land or building owner. In short, you will be paying the bill twice. Even if the person filed for bankruptcy protection, you are still on the hook.

8. Who are you buying from?

One of the easiest ways to check to see if the person or company you’re dealing with is new, or has been in business for a while is to check California’s Secretary of State website. California does a great job in making sure you can check the status of a company, partnership, LLC or corporation. The secretary of state website is a great place to start. You can also check to see if they are an entity and when they were formed.

Special Note: In California, there is no sales tax charged on construction projects that include installation. If the company is charging you sales tax, they should not be. It’s better to have these conversations up front, but if it’s too late, don’t pay the sales tax.

When you are ready to start your modular project, follow these suggestions and ask all of the right questions. You’ll be sure to save yourself a lot of trouble and money. If you’re ready to start your modular construction project today, contact Allied Modular Building Systems or visit our website for more information on modular construction, modular products, and helpful resources. You can also call and one of our knowledgeable staff members will be able to help you.

Allied Modular has been doing business in California for over 27 years and we know exactly what it takes to complete a successful project!

Allied Modular Building Systems, Inc.
642 W. Nicolas Ave.
Orange, CA 92868
CA LIC. # 730592 B

The Future Is Modular


The space and way people live today is changing quite dramatically from what it was a generation or two ago. With a shift in population sizes to big cities, construction and adequate housing are a constant issue.

At Allied we’ve never been a stranger to solving complex construction issues. We pride ourselves in finding unique solutions for difficult projects.

Modular construction is great for these sorts of applications and is actually being used to help meet the demands of housing in large urban areas. By building apartments in an offsite factory, they can be transported over and quickly assembled with a crane. This yields a cost savings and means to easily manage a large scale construction project.

Modular construction is clearly the future of the way things are built, and we are excited to see it grow in popularity. Check out this great article over at The Guardian for more information.

Modular Chinese Skyscraper


One of the reasons that our customers love modular construction is because of how fast it is. Modular construction shifts the construction process to an offsite facility, and all that is left is merely the onsite assembly.

A Chinese company recently took modular to a whole new level by creating a skyscraper in record time. In about 19 days, a 57- story skyscraper was completed. That is almost 3 stories each day! This structure will include places for living and working and was designed with sustainability in mind. Check out this video to see how the whole project came together:

Modular Executive Offices


Offices are an important place and serve a vital role at all companies. Although most companies have some type of office space, they are by no means created equally.

One of our most impressive offices is our modular executive office. We’ve designed these offices to strike the balance between elegance, quality and durability. Our executive offices are made right here in the United States and are designed to be installed quickly.

Would you like to learn more about our modular offices? Call us today at 888-836-7850.

Allied Modular Press Boxes

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Allied Modular’s modern modular solutions are used on a daily basis by people all over the world. Our products are made in the USA, and we offer some very unique products.

Amongst our modular building products, we have created several products that are specifically designed to work with schools and universities. These products include press boxes, modular walls and ticket booths.

Our press boxes have been installed in high schools, colleges and sporting areas around the world. From these modular press boxes you can get a great view of the field down. From this modular building atop the bleachers you can film the events down below as well as provide a space for reporters, announcers and others to work.

Like our other modular products, our ticket booths, modular walls and press boxes can all be custom color matched to your facility. They can also be customized in a variety of other ways to match your style.

Would you like to learn about our press boxes and other specially created products? You can visit our website for more information, or you can call us at 888-836-7850.

CMM Enclosure For White Drive Products, Inc.

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On any given day here at Allied Modular, we are hard at work creating modern modular wall systems for our customers. These projects range from a simple guardhouse to a fully customized modular structure.

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We were recently privileged to work with White Drive Products to provide them with CMM enclosures. Our CMM and machine enclosures provide a place for large pieces of equipment to run under optimal conditions. Our enclosures are built right here in the United States and can be easily installed around existing equipment or machinery.

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Here is what Benjamin Kersey, CMM Specialist, from White Drive Products had to say about the enclosure we created:

We love the room and the extra space it adds, as well as the added professionalism of a well-built room.

Would you like to learn more about CMM and Machine Enclosures? Visit our website or give us a call at 888-836-7850.