Okay, thank you very much for clarifying.
The relevant law here is Business and Professions Code section 7159.5, which states in relevant part as follows:
"This section applies to all home improvement contracts, as defined in Section 7151.2, between an owner or tenant and a contractor, whether a general contractor or a specialty contractor, that is licensed or subject to be licensed pursuant to this chapter with regard to the transaction.
(a) Failure by the licensee or a person subject to be licensed under this chapter, or by his or her agent or salesperson, to comply with the following provisions is cause for discipline:
....(3) If a downpayment will be charged, the downpayment may not exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) or 10 percent of the contract amount, whichever is less."
As noted in bold above, the "$1,000 or 10% rule" applies only to "home improvement contracts." B & P 7151.2 defines home improvement contracts as follows:
"Home improvement contract" means an agreement, whether oral or written, or contained in one or more documents, between a contractor and an owner or between a contractor and a tenant, regardless of the number of residence or dwelling units contained in the building in which the tenant resides, if the work is to be performed in, to, or upon the residence or dwelling unit of the tenant, for the performance of a home improvement as defined in Section 7151, and includes all labor, services, and materials to be furnished and performed thereunder."
Section 7151 defines "home improvement" as follows:
"'Home improvement' means the repairing, remodeling, altering, converting, or modernizing of, or adding to, residential property and shall include, but not be limited to, the construction, erection, replacement, or improvement of driveways, swimming pools, including spas and hot tubs, terraces, patios, awnings, storm windows, landscaping, fences, porches, garages, fallout shelters, basements, and other improvements of the structures or land which is adjacent to a dwelling house. "Home improvement" shall also mean the installation of home improvement goods or the furnishing of home improvement services."
So, let's put this all together. The "$1,000 or 10% rule" applies to "home improvement contracts," which are defined as any agreements in which "home improvements" are to be made. "Home improvements" mean repairing, remodeling, altering, converting, or modernizing of, or adding to, residential property.
Since the installation of cabinets would fall within the definition of home improvements, such work would fall under the "$1,000 or 10% rule."
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