Tag Archives: contractor

Make sure your contracting business doesn’t work for free!

Your contractor’s license is the most important first step.

In California, a contractor was recently ordered to repay over $750,000 when it became evident that the company had operated without being properly licensed in the state of California. In Oregon, a contractor has been barred from seeking over $285,000 in compensation when his license was suspended during the course of a contract.  Don’t let this happen to your contracting business! OnlineEd will tell you what the risks are, and what you can do to mitigate them.

In a 2012 court decision, a California constructing contractor was ordered to repay the entire $750,000 contract earned while performing work while unlicensed.  The sole proprietor was contracted to construct a temporary access road and parking lot for a casino. After submitting a bid in March 2007, the contracting company finished its work and was paid in full around May. However, an application for a license was submitted while work was ongoing, and the contracting company first received its contractor’s license in October 2007.  The court subsequently ruled that the company be required to refund all of the money paid by the client  upon completion of the contract.

While harsh, this action is consistent with California courts’ previous decisions that contractors should be held liable for their licensure to the point of being denied payment or being required to refund payment already received.

Similar legislation is in place in Oregon, and can be seen in another 2012 court decision which upheld a ruling barring a contractor from commencing action seeking compensation earned while operating without being properly licensed. While constructing a residence, the contractor’s license to perform construction work was suspended for two weeks because of expired liability insurance. Because of this suspension, the court held that the contractor was unable to seek compensation allegedly owed to him through legal means, losing out on an amount over $280,000.

These worst-case scenarios are cautionary tales, but they should not be ignored. Licensure costs time and money to obtain, but the alternative is far more expensive. Making sure that your contracting business is properly licensed throughout the entire process – from bid to completion – will protect your business from substantial losses. OnlineEd.com can help with your Oregon contractor needs here.

Once you have obtained or renewed your license, make sure you fulfill all of the continuing requirements to avoid a suspension. The CCB lists some common mistakes and oversights that can cause your license to be suspended:

  • Expired liability insurance.
  • Cancellation of your bond.
  • Hiring employees while in an “exempt” employer status
  • Deletion of RMI (Responsible Managing Individual) form due to disassociation or death.
  • License or renewal fees returned as “insufficient” or other non-payment issues.
  • Maintaining a non-exempt status with no workers’ compensation.
  • Failure to maintain your corporate or LLC (Limited Liability Company) filing.

 

Make the most of your business; ensure you are properly licensed and continue to double-check your license frequently. Don’t get caught in a mistake and end up working for free!

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For more information on obtaining an Oregon contractor license, please visit the OnlinEed web site at: www.OnlineEd.com or give them a call at 866.519.9597

EPA Takes Action Against Violators of the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule

(EPA – WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, EPA announced 17 enforcement actions for violations of the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting rule (RRP).

The RRP rule protects homeowners and tenants from dangerous lead dust that can be left behind after common renovation, repair, and painting work. It requires that contractors and subcontractors be properly trained and certified, and use lead-safe work practices to ensure that lead dust is minimized. Lead exposure can cause a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities to seizures and death, putting young children at the greatest risk because their nervous systems are still developing.

“Using lead-safe work practices is good business and it’s the law,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “EPA is taking action to enforce lead rules to protect people from exposure to lead and to ensure a level playing field for contractors that follow the rules.”

The enforcement actions address serious violations of the RRP rule, including fourteen actions where the contractor failed to obtain certification prior to performing or offering to perform renovation activities on pre-1978 homes, where lead is more likely to be present. Other alleged violations included failure to follow the lead-safe work practices, which are critical to reducing exposure to lead-based paint hazards.

The 17 enforcement actions listed below include 14 administrative settlements assessing civil penalties of up to $23,000. These settlements also required the contractors to certify that they had come into compliance with the requirements of the RRP rule. Additionally, EPA filed three administrative complaints seeking civil penalties of up to the statutory maximum of $37,500 per violation. As required by the Toxic Substances Control Act, a company or individual’s ability to pay a penalty is evaluated and penalties are adjusted accordingly.GTON – Today, EPA announced 17 enforcement actions for violations of the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting rule (RRP).

The RRP rule protects homeowners and tenants from dangerous lead dust that can be left behind after common renovation, repair, and painting work. It requires that contractors and subcontractors be properly trained and certified, and use lead-safe work practices to ensure that lead dust is minimized. Lead exposure can cause a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities to seizures and death, putting young children at the greatest risk because their nervous systems are still developing.

“Using lead-safe work practices is good business and it’s the law,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “EPA is taking action to enforce lead rules to protect people from exposure to lead and to ensure a level playing field for contractors that follow the rules.”

The enforcement actions address serious violations of the RRP rule, including fourteen actions where the contractor failed to obtain certification prior to performing or offering to perform renovation activities on pre-1978 homes, where lead is more likely to be present. Other alleged violations included failure to follow the lead-safe work practices, which are critical to reducing exposure to lead-based paint hazards.

The 17 enforcement actions listed below include 14 administrative settlements assessing civil penalties of up to $23,000. These settlements also required the contractors to certify that they had come into compliance with the requirements of the RRP rule. Additionally, EPA filed three administrative complaints seeking civil penalties of up to the statutory maximum of $37,500 per violation. As required by the Toxic Substances Control Act, a company or individual’s ability to pay a penalty is evaluated and penalties are adjusted accordingly.

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More about lead and instructions on getting certified: www.epa.gov/lead

More about becoming an Oregon licensed contractor: https://www.onlineed.com/info/Contracting/Oregon/LicenseTraining/

Work That Does and Does Not Require an Oregon Contractor License

(Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd® – Portland, OR) Anyone doing work in Oregon for compensation in any construction-related activity that involves improvements to real estate is to be licensed with the Oregon Construction Contractor Board.

There are some exemptions from licensure, provided there isn’t any advertising to obtain the work, including over the internet, business cards, and signs.

These are two exceptions:

  • If the price of the work performed is under $500
  • If the work is casual, minor, or inconsequential in nature

Some examples of work that DOES require a license:

  • Floor covering
  • Siding
  • Painting
  • Roofing
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Tree Service
  • Concrete
  • Heating
  • Air conditioning
  • On-Site appliance repair
  • Home inspections
  • Land Development
  • Manufactured dwelling installations

Some examples of work that does not require a license:

  • Gutter cleaning
  • Pressure washing
  • Debris removal or cleanup (yard or construction site)

For more information about becoming an Oregon licensed contractor, visit our post, How to Get Your Oregon Contractor License.

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 OnlineEd® is Oregon construction Contractors Board approved contractor pre-license course provider and an Oregon licensed vocational school offering real estate, mortgage, contractor and insurance courses. For more information about OnlineEd®, please visit www.OnlineEd.com or contact 503.670.9278

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CCB Adopts Permanent Rules Exempting Some Continuing Edcuation

OnlineEd

(October 7, 2011 – Oregon Construction Contractors Board) – Senate Bill 155 (2011) paved the way in July for the Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB) to adopt temporary rules exempting electrical and plumbing contractors from some of the residential continuing education requirements. At the September 27, 2011 meeting, Board members adopted rules to permanently provide those exemptions to electrical and plumbing contractors licensed through the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Building Codes Division.  These contractors are exempt from the three hours in Building Exterior Shell Training (BEST) and the two hour requirement in building codes. They must substitute the five exempted hours with five elective hours. For most electrical and plumbing contractors their total CCB residential continuing education  requirement is 3 CORE hours in CCB’s Laws, Regulations and Business Practices (LRB) and 13 hours  of electives.  Electives may be completed by applying courses taken to maintain electrical and plumbing licenses, as  well as another construction or construction business related training, including trainings on safety,  manufacturers product installation and best practices and first aid/CPR..

Residential contractors began demonstrating compliance with continuing education with license  renewals beginning October 1, 2011. Also included in the permanent rule was the limited exemption from the BEST and building codes  requirement for contractors who have an owner or officer licensed as an architect or a professional  engineer. Those contractors must fulfill the additional five hours of electives.

[Original CCB Document]

 

 

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For more information on contractor continuing education visit the CCB website at: www.oregon.gov/CCB or call 503-378-4621. The CCB is a state agency licensing more than 39,000 contractors. Anyone who is paid to repair, improve or build a home must be licensed by the CCB.

OnlineEd® is an Oregon CCB approved course provider. For information about our course, please visit:  www.OnlineEd.com For more informaiton about OnlineEd, visit us at www.OnlineEd.com or give us a call, toll free, at 866.519.9597

What’s Required to Become an Oregon Home Inspector

hardhat canstockphoto1396154(Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd – Portland, OR) Anyone who advertises, works, or bids as a home inspector is required to be certified by the Oregon Construction Contractors Board (“CCB”) as a home inspector.

Any individual who, for a fee, inspects and delivers a report on the overall physical condition of a residential structure is considered to be a home inspector. A home inspector inspects more than one structural component. These components include:

  • Exterior of the structure
  • Roofing
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Insulation
  • Ventilation
  • Interior of the structure
  • Heating
  • Central air conditioning
  •  Built-in appliances

The following do not need to be certified as home inspectors in Oregon:

  • Individuals who inspect only one structural component, such as a roof, lead-based paint, plumbing, siding, etc.;
  • Individuals who do not inspect and provide a report on the “overall” condition of a residential structure, such as wood destroying organism, pest, mold and dry rot inspectors;
  • Individuals who are not home inspectors;
  • Individuals licensed as a general contractor each year during the period from January 1, 1991 through August 11, 1997;
  • Appraisers acting within the scope of their license;
  • Individuals working for a governmental agency as a code compliance inspector; and
  • Pesticide operators licensed by the Oregon Department of Agriculture, when not conducting  inspections for wood destroying organisms for the purchase or sale of real estate.

The first step to becoming a home inspector is to complete a Qualification Test Application and attach proof of eligibility using the CCB’s Qualifying Point Documentation. These two forms, along with payment of the $50 application fee will be used to determine if the applicant is qualified to become certified. If the applicant is qualified, the CCB will mail the applicant a qualification letter and study guide. After studying the guide, the applicant will need to pass a test. To request to take the test, the applicant must return a copy of the qualification letter, the $50 test fee and choose a testing site. To become certified, the applicant must pass all five sections of the test with a score of at least 75%and submit the $150 certification fee to the CCB. Once the fee is received, the CCB will issue the applicant’s certification and official pocket card.

A home inspection business also needs a contractor license from the Oregon CCB

Once the applicant gets certified, the applicant must also be the owner or an employee of a CCB licensed business to practice home inspections. Generally, a home inspection business also needs a contractor license from the Oregon CCB. In Oregon, a home inspection business is defined as one or more owners or one or more employees who are home inspectors. If a home inspector is a sole proprietor, then the home inspector and the home inspection business are one and that same. To find out what is required to become an Oregon Contractors Construction Board licensed contractor, please read this article.

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OnlineEd® is an Oregon CCB approved course provider. For information about our course, please visit:  www.OnlineEd.com For more information about OnlineEd, visit us at www.OnlineEd.com or give us a call, toll-free, at 866.519.9597

 

CCB Sting Surprises Uncertified Locksmiths and Unlicensed Contractors

Oregon

Oregon

(Portland- Oregon CCB) – On  January 19 and 20, 2011,  uncertified locksmiths and unlicensed contractors in the Happy Valley area had a surprise waiting for them. The Construction Contractors Board (CCB)  conducted a sting operation designed to curb uncertified locksmith and unlicensed contractor activity in the area. The Portland ABC affiliate KATU participated and filmed the action. The CCB partnered with a member of the Pacific Locksmith Association to locate a sting house.

At the end of the two-day sting, CCB issued 8 individuals a total of 9 proposed field orders; 3 for unlicensed construction activity and 6 for uncertified locksmith activity.  Field Investigators forwarded additional reports to CCB’s Enforcement section for further investigation and possible action.

“Illegal activity doesn’t just hurt the consumer,” says Robert Rambo, Manager of CCB’s Field Investigations. “It hurts the legitimate contractors that work hard to stay in compliance only to get undercut by those who don’t. The CCB is committed to finding and penalizing those working illegally.” Continue reading

Oregon CCB Administrator Named 1st Vice President of National Association

Oregon

Oregon

Salem, OR  (Oregon CCB) — Craig P. Smith, Administrator for the Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB) was named 1st Vice President for the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies (NASCLA) on August, 25, 2010.

NASCLA was founded in 1962 and is comprised of states that have enacted laws regulating the
business of contracting. NASCLA assists its member states in striving for the better regulation of
the construction industry to protect the health, safety and welfare of the general public.
“Oregon’s participation in NASCLA is important as we work through these difficult economic times,” says Smith.
“NASCLA provides a forum for Oregon’s CCB to learn about successful practices in other state licensing agencies, and in turn, we have an opportunity to share what has worked well in Oregon with the rest of the nation.”
Smith serves as executive officer of Oregon’s nine-member Governor appointed Board, a position he has held since 2001. The CCB administers licensing and certification programs affecting more than 41,000 construction businesses. The agency joined NASCLA in 2006.
NASCLA officers and board members serve one-year terms from September to September, commencing at the association’s annual conference each fall. This year’s Officers and Board of Directors were appointed on August 25, 2010 at NASCLA’s Annual Conference Additional officers installed for 2010/2011 include:
Keith Warren, President (Alabama Electrical Contractors Board);
Steve Pinther, 2nd Vice President (Idaho Contractors Board);
Greg Crow, Treasurer (Arkansas Contractors Licensing Board);
John Sullivan, Secretary (Mississippi State Board of Contractors);
John Curl, Immediate Past President (South Carolina Residential Builders Commission), and
Carolyn Lazenby, 2nd Immediate Past President (Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors).

Do You Need An Oregon Contractor License?

Does your business require a contractor license in Oregon? Not all construction activities require a contracting license. However, according to Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS701.005(5)), many do.

Requires a Contracting License:

You need a contracting license if you want to do any of the following in Oregon:

  • Build a residential or small commercial structure to sell.
  • Get paid to work on a:
    • building
    • highway
    • road
    • railroad
    • excavation project
    • development or improvement attached to real estate
  • Service or clean chimneys
  • Remove or limb trees.
  • Teach school students construction skills by building and selling a structure.
  • Supply home inspector services.

Does Not Require a Contracting License:

Some “construction work” does NOT require a license and is specifically exempt:

  • Gutter cleaning.
  • Pressure washing.
  • Landscaping and gardening.
  • Commercial timber harvesting.
  • Working on personal property.
  • Working on federal property.
  • Producing materials, supplies, and equipment.
  • Working on a job totalling less than $1,000, as long as you don’t advertise yourself as a “contractor”.
  • Resident homeowners (house-flippers DO require a license).
  • Working on a structure you own that you are not selling later on.
  • Building manufactured homes.
  • Working as an employee of a contractor.
  • Delivering manufactured homes or modular structures (size limits apply).
  • Working as a mortgage loan originator or real estate agent.
  • Providing day laborers.
  • Working as a city or county inspector.

Requires a Different Kind of License

Some construction activities are governed by other laws and require separate licensing requirements. These activities do not require a contractor license, but may require some other license:

  • Architect licensed by the State Board of Architect Examiners.
  • Professional engineer registered by the State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying.
  • Water well contractor licensed by the Water Resources Department.
  • Sewage disposal system installer licensed by the Department of Environmental Quality.
  • Pesticide operator (does not include termite inspector).
  • Appraiser or assistant licensed by the Appraiser Certification and Licensure Board.
  • Persons building ONLY fences, decks, arbors, patios, landscape edging, driveways, walkways, or retaining walls
  • Landscaper (under certain conditions)

This is not an exhaustive list. For complete rules and instructions on obtaining a contractor license, check out the Oregon CCB website.

If you want to start your own business and you do need an Oregon contracting license, the first thing you will need is a “pre-license course”. This state-required education is necessary to pass an exam to get your license.

OnlineEd offers a comprehensive Oregon Construction Contractor License Training Course that provides you with the needed education for your licensing exam. This course includes an official textbook, online study reviews, and practice tests to get you ready for the exam.

For more information about how to get a contracting license and how the process works, visit our Oregon Construction Contractor License Training page.