Contractors Law

Summary: Oregon Construction Contractors Law
(ORS Chapter 701)

Contractor Registration

Oregon law requires anyone who is engaged for compensation in any construction activity involving improvements to real estate to be registered with the State of Oregon Construction Contractors Board. Registration is required for any individual or business entity which advertises, offers, bids, or arranges to do, or actually does any construction, alteration, remodeling, or repair involving residential, commercial, industrial, or public works improvements. This includes partnerships, corporations, and self-employed individuals, whether working by the hour, week, job, or "cost-plus," whether by written contract or oral agreement. There are no education, training, experience, testing, or character reference requirements. Registration is not an endorsement of the quality of work.

Registration Classifications

The Construction Contractors Board has seven (7) registration classes, and contractors are not allowed to work outside the classification in which they are registered. The classifications and restrictions are:

Residential Contractor A: ($10,000 bond) All residential general contractors constructing new homes and doing home remodeling.

Residential Contractor B: ($5,000 bond) Residential specialty, repair, tree service, and manufactured housing contractors who are not building new homes or doing remodeling.

Residential Contractor C: ($2,000 bond) Same limitations as Residential Contractor B above, except that the contractor is limited to $80,000 gross volume per year.

General Contractor: ($10,000 bond) Nonresidential only; contractors whose business operations involve more than two unrelated building trades or crafts.

Specialty Contractor: ($5,000 bond) Nonresidential only; contractors who specialize in two or less unrelated building trades or specialties.

General Contractor & Residential Contractor A (dual registration, $10,000 bond) All types of construction: residential, nonresidential, general and specialty.

Specialty Contractor & Residential Contractor B (dual registration, $5,000 bond) Contractors who do specialized residential or nonresidential work, or residential repair projects costing less than $2,500.

NOTE: "RESIDENTIAL" includes nonresidential buildings with a ground floor area of 4,000 square feet or less and not more than 20 feet interior height (from the top surface of the lowest floor to the highest overhead finish of the building).

Consumer Protection

Sometimes disagreements occur between consumers and contractors. When this happens, the Construction Contractors Board may be able to help.

Homeowners can file claims with the Construction Contractors Board if they think the contractor has done negligent work, breached a contract, allowed liens to be filed, or otherwise caused damage. Claims against nonresidential contractors should be filed in court, with notification to the Construction Contractors Board. Generally speaking, the claim must be filed within a year of the project's completion.

For residential claims, the Construction Contractors Board can send an investigator to the site to look at the claim items and attempt to resolve the dispute. If the dispute continues, the Construction Contractors Board offers a hearing and appeal decision process. If the contractor refuses to cooperate or refuses to pay any amount ordered, payment is made from the contractors bond, to the limits provided by law.

Information

You can help assure a trouble-free construction or repair job if you follow a few simple suggestions:

  • make sure the contractor is registered with the Construction Contractors Board.
  • check with previous customers to see if they were satisfied with the work.
  • put any and all agreements in writing.
  • be sure to get a building permit if one is required.
  • before you accept the job, meet with the contractor to note everything that needs correction.
  • if you have questions, ask!

For more information, contact:

Construction Contractors Board

700 Summer NE, Suite 300

Salem, OR 97310-0151

Phone (503) 378-4621

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