5 Tips you should know before you hire a licensed contractor

Tip 1: The State of Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB) recommends getting your contractual agreement in writing. Always get a copy of the contractor’s CCB card that they should carry with them at all times. Make two copies of the contract, make sure all of the required CCB notices are included, dated and signed on both copies of the contract.

Ask The Painting Contractor some of the following questions:
• What professional recommendations can you make for my project?
• What do you recommend needs to be done for my project?
• What areas need the most attention and what do you see as the most challenging aspect of this project?
• How long will the job take from start to finish?
• How will adverse weather conditions affect the project quality?
• What materials do you recommend? Paint, Caulking, Primer, Scraping & Sanding?
• What about doors? How will you prep and paint them? What type of paint & primers will you use?

Tip 2: You should always ask open ended questions. You’ll find out what the contractor really knows when you require him/her to explain things to you.

• Do you ever mix water into the paint or do you use products such as Penetrol or paint thinners in order to thin-out your paint during the painting process?
• What are the steps you take during the clean up process on the job each day to ensure my property and home stay clean and organized during the painting project?
• Do you work on more than one job at a time or multiple jobs and how will that affect our project?
• Do you have 5 – 7 references? Can you show me some houses I can drive by and take a look at or do you have some addresses that you could give me that I could check out on my own?

Tip 3: Check every reference… it may surprise you how many references may not be happy with the contractor you are checking on. (This list of customers should all be ecstatic over the work… remember this contractor isn’t giving you his upset customers to call.)

• How many homes did you paint last year?
• Can you show me some homes you’ve painted in the last 1-3 years?

Tip 4: Work with a Repaint Specialist. Contractors that have worked in new construction for several years don’t have the same knowledge and experience in prep, application, and the finished product like a qualified journeymen or master journeymen contractor may have. So make sure you’re getting competitive quotes from other qualified contractors that have good references for repaint work.

• Are you licensed in the City & State where I live? (Be sure to get their license number and check with the State Contractor’s Board to ensure they are a licensed contractor) Click on the link below to check the status of your contractor’s
License Status
Bond
Liability Insurance
Business License Number
Any pending Final Orders Discharged in Bankruptcy
Unpaid DRS Final Orders
Orders Or Arbitration Awards on Appeal
Delinquent Disciplinary Final Orders
CCB Disciplinary Actions
CCB Dispute Resolution Services (DRS) Summary
Summary of Unpaid CCB Orders
CCB Business Detail Record
CCB Administrative License Actions

Oregon CCB Link: https://ccbed.ccb.state.or.us/ccb_frames/consumer_info/ccb_index.htm

Tip 5: Always use a licensed specialty contractor or residential general contractor. Warning: if you choose to use an unlicensed contractor and even though you may have a contractual agreement with the individual you may have no recourse if the individual does harm to you, damages your property, or scams you by getting money upfront for the job and takes off with your hard earned cash. With a licensed contractor your recourse is two fold: 1) you have the right to go after their bond (which varies from 10,000-20,000 dollars or more in the state of Oregon). 2) If the contractor damages your property, your recourse could be to have the contractor’s liability insurance cover any damages sustained to the homeowner or business from the contractor’s negligent behavior on the job. (Typically in the state of Oregon, depending on whether or not the contractor is a specialty contractor, residential general contractor, or a commercial contractor their liability insurance should range between 100,000-2,000,000 aggregate).

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