Serving Contractors and Related Industries,
Since 2000
Oct. 2003
Diane Dennis


Welcome to the October 2003 Newsletter!

First, a correction from last month's newsletter... Apparently it is NOT a misdemeanor in California to not do your prelim notices. It IS however a punishable (by the license board) offense per California Civil Code 3097(h) which reads as follows

"If the contract price to be paid to any subcontractor on a particular work of improvement exceeds four hundred dollars ($400), the failure of that contractor, licensed under Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 7000) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, to give the notice provided for in this section, constitutes grounds for disciplinary action by the Registrar of Contractors."

Well, it's almost time for the trick-or-treaters to be running around. Will you be dressing up this year or do you need candy to hand-out (and snack on while no one's looking... ;)? The last section of this newsletter has some happy halloween goodies and treats. :)

In this newsletter you'll find info about California's ever-changing prelim notices; how to keep receiving this free newsletter and keep it from being zapped by a filter and info about our brand new "Lien Release Forms Package". Please keep your feedback coming on the changes you see here in the newsletter. :)

Have an outstanding month!!

This month:

01. Preliminary Notices are changing on January 1, 2004
02. Don't miss out on any of our newsletters...
03. Dun & Bradstreet can help you to learn about potential customers
04. Southern California Insurance Brokerage, Inc. is #1 (California)
05. Yummy Goodies
06. Open letter from my sister about her family...

If you like this newsletter, please forward it to your friends and colleagues and encourage them to subscribe... I'll be forever grateful... :)

1. Preliminary Notices will change on January 1, 2004

The California 20-Day Preliminary Notice will be changing effective January 1, 2004. If you've purchased our prelim notice in the past check our newsletter between now and January 1, 2004 to find out when you can get your updated copy of the prelim.

The reason for the change is because new legislation was enacted that requires the owner of the property to notify every entity that sent him a 20-Day Preliminary Notice, that the notice of completion or cessation has been filed.

The new text in the preliminary notice serves to inform the owner of this new responsibility.

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Don't miss out on any of our newsletters

Due to the nightmarish amount of spam and UCE (unsolicited commercial email) the business of email filters is booming. I dislike spam and UCE as much as the next person but unfortunately the filters are not perfect.

Because they're not perfect, when you use a filter you have to remember to open the spam folder that the suspected spam email is filtered to. If you don't you could miss important emails that the filter erroneously zapped as spam.

The errors that come about with filters happen mostly because the filters "read" the words in the subject line and body of the message to determine whether or not the email is spam. That's a problem because the spammers use words that legitimate email newsletters also use.

The example given in the Marketing Sherpa article I read on this subject is a "Harvard Admissions Letter" that was filtered out after it was determined, by the filter, to be spam. The implication here is that these filters do make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes can be costly to the intended recipient.

If your friend sends you an email about something f*r.e*e. she found online, you might not receive that email. Why? Because "f*r.e*e" is a very marked word, it's one of the top filtered words these days.

That's why I typed f*r.e*e with asterisks and periods/dots, otherwise this newsletter could be filtered out and deleted simply due to this very article containing the word f*r.e*e!

No matter how you access the internet or which email program you use, one thing I'm told that a person can do is this::

Add your friend's email address to your email address book. Do this for anyone and everyone you want to receive email from.

AOL'rs, you'll want to do the above PLUS you'll want to add your friend's email address to your contact buddy list. If you have a "Person I Know" buddy list you'll want to add the email addresses into there also.

These steps are supposed to insure that you receive all emails from everyone that you want to receive emails from, especially those emails from your friends telling you where you can find f*r.e*e stuff. :)

To get you started, I have a few email addresses of my own I'd like to ask you to add in, to ensure that you continue to receive my newsletters. ;)

This email address is where I send my newsletter from...
thecontractorsgroup @

These are my personal email addresses...
diane @
contractors1 @

As you probably noticed, all three email addreses above have spaces before and after the @ sign. When entering my email addresses in your email address book, please do not include those spaces. The only reason those spaces are there is to try to keep spammers from being able to send their cyber-bots to crawl this page and harvest my email addresses to use as the send from on spam emails.

Thank you for adding me and for being my subscriber! If you have any questions please do feel free to contact me. If I don't have the answer to your question I'll find someone who does. :)

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Dun & Bradstreet can help you to learn about potential customers

D&B Small Business Solutions gives small businesses access to tools and information that they can use to check payment history of potential partners, monitor their own business credit, locate new customers and suppliers, research new markets, and collect past due receivables.

Check your customer's (or potential customer's) payment history now with a FREE Credit eValuator Report from D&B Small Business Solutions. Click Here!

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Southern California Insurance Brokerage, Inc.

Gary Oltmanns and Gabriel Hill, of Southern California Insurance Brokerage Inc., are the guys to handle your insurance needs. They've taken care of us for several years now and we couldn't be more pleased.

I've created an online business e*card for you to print and put in your business card file or your insurance file (it prints the same size as a standard business card). Then when it's time to renew your policy, pull the card out and give Gary and/or Gabriel a call and then you'll know why we've stayed with them for as long as we have!

Southern California Insurance Brokerage, Inc.
PO Box 758 * Glendora, CA 91740
(800) 900-9372


Be sure to tell them that TheContractorsGroup sent you =)

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5. Yummy Goodies

Halloween 2003* Pumpkin Placecard Truffle Boxes (with truffles)!
* Pumpkin Snack Stack, Chocolate Moose Munch!
* Halloween Tower of Treats, Caramel Moose Munch!
* Black Cat Cookie Jar w/ Shortbread Cookies!

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6. Health Insurance Required for California Businesses

I read that Gov. Davis signed legislation that will require businesses in California to provide health insurance for their employees. I'm going to look into it and find out what I can, and then I'll send more info about it.

In the meantime, check out insurance quotes here. There's no obligation but you can get some information as to how much insurance will cost you.

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7. Letter from my sister

As many of you know, my sister's husband and three children were in a horrendous car crash on June 6, after a DUI 18 year old driver crunched into them and sent the car rolling over and over down an embankment.

The kids are back in school now and Cindy (my sister) has had a few moments to breathe. She wrote a letter to everyone who has been so incredibly generous with their cards, letters, prayers, thoughts, good wishes, gifts...

Please click here to read her letter...

As always, I'd love to hear from you. Drop me a line and let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. :)

Have an absolutely terrific day!
Diane Dennis was created to help construction contractors and other business owners with their day-to-day and on-going administrative needs.

The Complete Lien Release Package

We've packaged our lien release forms together and added our lien release report (discussing how to use which release form when) free of charge!

This 7-page report retails for $19.95 but you get it free when you purchase the lien waiver and release forms package!

This report is very quick to read and understand and it tells you exactly how to use which release form when.

Purchase 1, 2 or 3 of our release forms and get this report for 50% off.

Purchase all four release forms and you get this helpful report for free!

For a limited time you also get the 10% multiple form discount, bringing the cost of this package down to only $17.84! That's $24.75 LESS than purchasing the items individually, and $2.11 LESS than purchasing the report alone!

For California
For "Other States"

If you've already purchased all four release forms please send me an email and I'll email you the report at no charge. :)

If you like this newsletter, please tell your colleagues about it. I will be forever grateful!