BEND, OR -- In a recent sweep of Central Oregon construction sites, the Construction Contractors Board (CCB) found 38 builders working without the proper credentials. The five-day operation spanned 151 work sites. "This latest sweep covered a good share of Central Oregon: Black Butte, Sunriver, Redmond, Sisters, Madras, and of course, Bend," says CCB Enforcement Manager Stan Jessup. They determined several builders were working without licenses, but others had licenses that weren't up-to-date, or they failed to provide workers' comp insurance for employees. "We do these concentrated sweeps just about every month, or every other month. We find a variety of different violations. What they're primarily looking for are contractors that don't have a license; and this is all part of making people understand that you need to hire licensed contractors because that's what gives you the protections."
Improper licensing can lead to misdemeanor criminal charges and violators are fined between $1,000 and $5,000. Jessup says if a homeowner gets taken by an unlicensed contractor, there's really no recourse, "We can certainly cite the contractor that's unlicensed, but there's no mechanism for recovery. Of course, they could go to court, they could sue the contractor if they had damages or improper work, but trying to recover that is nearly impossible."
Contractors are required to provide their license numbers on all advertising, signage, and contracts. Visit the CCB's website to to look up a number and access up to 10 years' worth of history. "If people have any questions about a license, they can always call us," Jessup tells KBND News, "And we'll go through the license history for them."