Education

Why should I have more than one RMI?
Licensing Manager Laurie Hall
Oregon law requires that every licensee have at least one Responsible Managing Individual (RMI) associated with their business at all times.  There is no maximum.
 
Even though most licensees currently only have one RMI for their business, there are a few good reasons to consider having more than one.
 
  • If your RMI leaves your business unexpectedly, by choice or otherwise, your license technically becomes invalid on the date we are notified.  When that happens, CCB will send you a letter informing you that you must replace the RMI as soon as possible.  Since there are training and testing requirements that must be met before the new RMI can be put into place, this is not something that can happen immediately.
  • In the meantime, you may be risking a license suspension until we have notification that a new RMI has been assigned
  • Another advantage is that, in most cases, the RMI training can be approved by the licensing or education managers to satisfy all residential continuing education hours for that license period.
If you have  questions about adding another RMI to your license, please contact the Customer Service Unit at 503-378-4621.
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Paperwork required for waste from construction, home improvements projects

Metro transfer station requirements
 
To protect the health and safety of customers and employees, Metro's transfer stations require paperwork about materials that may contain asbestos with all loads of remodeling, construction and demolition waste from contractors in the building and construction trades. Metro is a regional government serving communities in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties.
 
Documentation requirements vary for commercial haulers with drop-box loads and contractors in the building and construction trades. Find Metro's form and learn more at 503-234-3000 or oregonmetro.gov/asbestosrules.
 
Asbestos is used in a range of construction materials, such as flooring, siding, ceilings, insulation, electrical wiring and more. Learn more about where asbestos may be found at epa.gov/asbestos/learn-about-asbestos#asbestos.
 
Before you start a remodeling, demolition or construction project, protect your health and safety:
  • Use an accredited asbestos inspector to survey your project for materials that may contain asbestos.
  • Have suspect materials tested.
  • Bring survey or test results with your load to a Metro transfer station to show it contains no asbestos. Any load without paperwork will be turned away.
Key contact information
  • Find a list of licensed asbestos contractors and analytical labs at deq.state.or.us/aq/asbestos or call 503-229-5982
  • Disposal options for waste containing asbestos are limited. In the Portland area, Hillsboro Landfill is permitted to accept asbestos waste. For hours of operation and details, call 503-640-9427.
  • Ask Metro about requirements, materials accepted and fees at Metro transfer stations. Call before you haul at 503-234-3000 or email mri@oregonmetro.gov
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Oregon OSHA adopts changes to construction-industry fall protection rules
Oregon OSHA
 
Oregon OSHA is lowering the construction industry’s current 10-foot general fall protection trigger height to six feet and prohibiting the use of slide guards as a sole or primary fall protection system. The changes, which affect only the requirements in Subdivision 3/M (Fall Protection) and Subdivision 3/E (Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment), will take effect in 2017.
 
The six-foot fall protection requirement will become effective Jan. 1, 2017, and slide guards will no longer be allowed as a primary fall-protection system starting Oct. 1, 2017.
 
Fall protection trigger height requirements covered under Subdivisions 3/L (Scaffolding), 3/R (Steel Erection), 3/S (Underground Construction), 3/CC (Cranes and Derricks in Construction); Division 2 (General Occupational Safety and Health Rules); Division 4 (Agriculture); and Division 7 (Forest Activities) are unaffected by these rule changes.
 
In October 2015, federal OSHA formally notified Oregon OSHA that the 10-foot fall protection requirement and the option to use slide guards as a primary fall-protection system were not as effective as federal OSHA’s requirements.
 
Oregon OSHA formed an advisory group of stakeholders in commercial and residential construction and asked for input in drafting changes to the existing rules over a series of meetings during the summer of 2015. The advisory group felt that the changes would primarily affect employers who build single-level homes and employers who work on roofs that have potential fall distances less than 10 feet above the ground. But lowering the fall-protection height to six feet would not have a significant fiscal impact on Oregon’s construction industry as a whole.
 
Following those meetings, Oregon OSHA explained the changes to the public at five hearings held throughout the state in January.
 
You will find the text for the proposed changes on Oregon OSHA’s Proposed Rules webpage.
 
For more about the proposed changes, contact Tom Bozicevic (503-947-7431; tom.bozicevic@oregon.gov) or Jeff Wilson (503-947-7421; jeffrey.r.wilson@oregon.gov).
 
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Important things to know about bond and insurance certificate requirements - share with your agent

Licensing Manager Laurie Hall
 
While most people know the dollar amounts required for bond and insurance related to construction contractor licensing, many people are not aware that Oregon Administrative Rules are also specific about the information that is required to be on all surety bonds and insurance certificates.  If your bond and/or insurance don’t meet all of these requirements, CCB cannot legally issue, renew, or reinstate your license.
 
Bonds must be:
  • Issued on the form adopted by CCB,  including the bond number.
  • Issued on behalf of the individual or entity name EXACTLY as it appears on the application.
  • For sole proprietors, this would be the licensee’s full legal name, including your middle name.  For any business registered with the Oregon Corporation Division, this would be the entity name EXACTLY as it is filed with the Corporation Division.  For partnerships, this would be the full legal name, including middle names, of all partners, except limited partners.
  • The amount required by law
  • The name of the surety company.
  • Signed and dated by an authorized agent and include a Power of Attorney.
Insurance certificates must include:
  • Name, address and phone number of insurance agent.
  • The name of insurance company
  • Individual or entity name Exactly as it appears on the application.
  • For sole proprietors, this would be the licensee’s full legal name, including your middle name.  For any business registered with the Oregon Corporation Division, this would be the entity name EXACTLY as it is filed with the Corporation Division.  For partnerships, this would be the full legal name, including middle names, of all partners, except limited partners.
  • Policy number.
  • Effective dates of coverage.
  • Coverage in at least the amount required by law.
  • A statement that products and completed operations coverage is included
  • CCB listed as certificate holder
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Next edition of pre-license reference manual

The CCB is contracting with the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies (NASCLA) to produce the next edition of the reference manual that is the basis for pre-licensing training and testing.
 
In transitioning to a NASCLA/Oregon manual, Oregon enjoys the benefits of NASCLA expertise in construction contracting, the input it receives from multiple states and a manual with improved readability.
 
If you know someone who will be taking the exam, here are some key dates:
 
  • July 1, 2016: Sales of the NASCLA/Oregon manual begin.
  • Sept. 1, 2016: The pre-license exam is based on the new manual
Questions? 503-934-2195
 
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Real estate property managers

Policy Analyst Kathi Dahlin
 
Oregon law allows real estate property managers, or their employees, to work on buildings without a construction contractor’s license. “Property managers” include brokers and principal brokers as well as property managers managing real estate.
 
The property manager must be licensed by the Oregon Real Estate Agency to manage rental real estate, and must be managing the building under a property management agreement. This exemption does not eliminate the need for: (1) electrical or plumbing licenses; (2) electrical, plumbing or mechanical permits; or (3) a lead-based paint renovator’s certification.
 
Often, property managers need to do routine maintenance on rentals. This might include replacing drywall, painting, installing carpets, replacing doors or windows or repairing a driveway.  If the property manager is licensed by the Oregon Real Estate Agency, the manager or its employees may do this kind of work.  There is no need for a construction contractor’s license.
 
If the job involves electrical work, the work must be performed by a licensed electrician and be covered by an electrical permit. Examples of this type of work include installing new wiring, electrical outlets or lighting fixtures. Similarly, if the job involves plumbing work, the work must be performed by a licensed plumber and be covered by a plumbing permit.  Examples of this type of work include installing or repairing piping, installing new plumbing fixtures (toilets, sinks, showers, tubs or dishwashers), or installing a new water heater.
 
The state Building Codes Division licenses electricians and plumbers.  Local jurisdictions usually issue the permits.
 
If a property manager, or the property manager’s employees, renovate homes or child-occupied facilities built before 1978, the property manager needs a special certification. Anytime repair work involves disturbing paint on more than 6 square feet (interior) or 20 square feet (exterior), this certification is required. If a property manager is not a licensed contractor, the property manager must obtain a renovation firm certification from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA).
 
To obtain the OHA certification, the property manager must have one or more employees who complete an approved renovation, repair and painting training class.  The focus is on reducing exposure to lead-based paint.  Lead-based paint dust and chips are harmful to humans, especially children and pregnant women.  The OHA certification costs $250 and is valid for five years.
 
Property managers need to carefully evaluate the type of work that they or their employees perform.  If the work is very limited, they may not need any licenses.  More involved work will likely require licensed tradespersons, permits, and/or an OHA license.
 

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Who needs the lead license?
The general contractor who bids the project must hold a lead license – even if subcontracting the work that disturbs the lead-based paint.

Enforcement Manager Stan Jessup
 
There has been some confusion about whether the general contractor has to hold a Lead-Based Paint Renovator’s (LBPR) License or whether he or she can subcontract out work to someone with a lead license.
 
The answer: If you are the one bidding the project and contracting with the homeowner, you must hold a lead-based paint renovator’s license. Both the general contractor AND any subcontractor that will disturb lead based paint must hold a valid LBPR license.
 
Background
First, there are two parts to having a lead renovator’s license. 

  1. ​The first step is the initial eight-hour training. This earns the participant an EPA-approved CERTIFICATION. This is a five-year certificate that allows the holder to obtain their Lead-Based Paint Renovator’s (LBPR) LICENSE from CCB. The training is approved by Oregon Health Authority under federal EPA authorization and is offered by many trainers throughout the state. 
  2. Once you have the CERTIFICATE, you can apply for the CCB LBPR License only if you hold a current contractor’s license. The addition of the LBPR license now gives you the ability to bid on or perform work on a pre-1978 target home when you might be disturbing lead-based paint.
You cannot:
  • Legally bid on a job if you or your subcontractor might disturb lead paint on a pre-1978 without both parties having this license.
  • Rely on tests, statements or even written documents from the homeowner or another contractor that states there is no lead present in or on the residence.
  • Rely on your own test results unless you hold an LBPR license.
Once you have the license
As a LBPR license holder working on a pre-1978 residence, you have two choices in how you proceed with the work.
 
  1. First, you can conduct the prescribed tests for lead and proceed by following work standards practices if lead is present, or use only typical cleanup methods if tests show no lead is present. Be sure to maintain test records and proper documentation as evidence you followed the EPA guidelines for work standards practices.
  2. The second option is to not test and assume lead is present and follow all of the work standards practices (tarping, containment, signage, notices, barriers, disposal, etc.).
Caution: If you start a job with no intention of disturbing lead paint but during the course of the project you find it necessary to remove a painted surface, you can be fined substantially if you lack a LBPR license.
 
Bottom line
Virtually all general contractors that do any work on pre-1978 homes need an LBPR license. Some examples of subcontractors or trades that should have an LBPR license are plumbers, electricians, flooring and counter installers, painters, siding replacement, door and window installation, roofing, gutters and drywall repair companies.

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New CCB video class:

Our latest one-hour training video (laws, rules and regulation class) is about “paying under the table.” It includes information on the growing problem of misclassifying workers who are really employees as independent contractors. Remember, you must log into your CCB online services account to take required CCB classes. Most residential contractors need three hours of CCB classes every two-year license renewal period.

Rulemaking

The CCB is proposing the following rule changes relating to pre-licensure testing and education, home inspectors, and continuing education requirements. These proposed rule changes will:
  • Provide an optional alternative path to contractor licensing by accepting the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies (NASCLA) contractor exam.  This path sets a higher bar for knowledge about construction but offers a more portable license for multistate contractors. Applicants must pass the NASCLA exam plus the Oregon pre-licensure exam.
  • Reduce confusion by providing that contractor license applicants must obtain a CCB license within two years of passing the Oregon pre-license test.  Currently, the rules restrict applicants to two years from completing pre-license training.
  • Expand and align exemptions to commercial continuing education and residential continuing education. Landscape contractors, home inspectors and master builders would now be exempt from CCB continuing education.
  • Remove obsolete rules that apply to past versions of continuing education.
  • Allow home inspectors to obtain continuing education credit for hosting “ride-alongs” with home inspector applicants.
 
Public comment
  • The public hearing will be from 10-11 a.m. April 15 at CCB offices, 201 High St. SE, Salem.
  • The deadline for public comment is 5 p.m. April 15. Submit written comments to: leslie.culpepper@ccb.state.or.us
Live class dates
Most residential contractors need to take three hours of laws, rules and regulation classes from the CCB during each license renewal period. Most contractors take them online by logging into their online services account. However, some prefer live classes. The CCB will offer classes in the near future in Bend/Redmond, Grants Pass, Hermiston, Klamath Falls, LaGrande, Lincoln City, Ontario, Seaside, The Dalles and Wilsonville. Visit: http://www.oregon.gov/CCB/Pages/ccbclasses.aspx
 

Alpaca business card jacket orders

These business card holders tell Oregon homeowners why it’s important to use a licensed, bonded and insured contractor on their project. Insert your business card and help us promote the value of licensed contractors. If you would like the CCB  to mail you a packet of these business card holders, email: tamalyn.s.rhein@state.or.us. Just say “alpaca cards.” Include your name, CCB number and mailing address.

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Contracting in the 21st Century

Our third visit with Tylor Stone, a first-year contractor
 
Less than six years ago, Tylor Stone painted the outside of his grandparents’ house in Lebanon, a teen-ager slapping on inexpensive paint and hoping for the best.  Now, he’s back as a first-year contractor, using a higher grade of paint and thinking about painting as a business. His.
 
He survived his first winter - barely. He worked just three days in December. While business picked up in January, he had to wait for the money to arrive. Meanwhile, he enjoyed “total poverty.”
 
The phone company shut him down part of a day but he resolved that quickly with a flurry of phone calls, made from the phone store since his phone was off. He borrowed a couple hundred dollars from his mentor. That tided him over a few days until he received payment on a job. Luckily, his paint supplier granted an extension on bills.
 
But, just as quickly, 2016 arrived with work, and challenges of another sort.
 
Today, in mid-March, he’s booked out more than two months and he just enjoyed his first day off in 15 days. His phone works but steady painting takes a toll on his body. He finds it hard to find time to eat healthy. On a typical day, he might bid on one project, get a paint match on another and actually paint at yet another site, looping from Lebanon to Albany to Corvallis and back.
 
With a handful of contractors providing regular work, he must manage the logistics of scheduling. A self-proclaimed “techie,” he uses a mix of paper and phone apps.
 

Juggling Projects

He pays a few bucks to have a business calendar he likes on his phone.  But he uses plain old printer paper, folded in half with hand-drawn columns, to track daily tasks such as who he needs to call and what supplies he needs to pick up.
 
This particular day, he juggles seven bids. Some jobs come with specific dates. Others are general, like “the second half of April.” “So, how do you keep track of that?” he asks.
 
When he gets a call about a job, he relies on the calendar on his phone. “Otherwise, I would be guessing.”
 
He found the best free software he could for generating bids, which serve as his contract. The software also generates invoices.
 
And, he uses a free spreadsheet he found by googling “free version of Excel” to track some expenses. Mostly, however, he counts on Miller Paint for that. He buys tools as well as paint from the retailer, and calls them for printouts as needed.
 
He admires a web-based tool fellow contractor, Ryan Schweitzer, uses to develop bids and manage projects. Schweitzer, a builder/remodeler from the Albany area, could send Tylor an email invitation to bid for painting work. Tylor could then log in to the site, check out the project, and submit a bid.
 
Schweitzer’s wife and data entry volunteer, Tinsa, said they spotted this particular system, called Co-construct, at a trade show. After some getting used to, she calls it a “handy little tool.”
 
In addition to giving subcontractors the information they need to bid and generating detailed bids for clients, the system houses documents and photos in a central location. Clients can view the progress and email questions. Once the project is under way, it notifies all those involved of changes in scheduling.
 
“Any time we have a change in our schedule, it will alert all the future people so we don’t have to make five million phone calls to tell the contractors down the line what’s going on,” Tinsa said.
 
They pay a monthly fee based on the number of projects they have under way. Of course, they must input detailed information at the outset of a project. Ryan Schweitzer is a one-man operation, so that task falls to Tinsa.
 
She says contractors without someone to handle data might not appreciate the program or find time to use it to its full potential. The system replaces a spreadsheet they formerly used to generate estimates and a Gantt chart Ryan created for project management. Ryan would pencil the chart and erase and start over as changes occurred.
 
So, Tinsa is a fan of the 21st Century system.
 
“It’s saving us loads of time and our clients really love it, too,” she said. “They can ask questions.”
 
While the builder still makes paper plans available to some subcontractors, Tylor is a fan of online.
“The last job I did I called him and asked him one question,” he said. “It was a five-minute conversation, because I already had all the information I needed.”
 
In other areas of technology, Tylor recently put up a website (Tylorstonecontracting.wordpress.com), using free software available on the Internet. He paid just $20 for the domain name. While on the phone with the CCB, he used a phone app to add the CCB number to his website, as required.
 
Meanwhile, he’s thinking more broadly about the intersection of technology and contracting as he starts up a “little software company” on the side of his painting business. Once you’ve started one business, he says, “it feels so easy to do.” He often listens to business podcasts as he works.
 

Lessons learned

Tylor is upbeat about what he is learning, saying he has learned 200 percent more in the last five months of being his own boss than he did in the last five years as an employee. “When you’re completely in charge of the situation, you’re learning from those mistakes.” Here are a few lessons learned since we last met up with Tylor.
 
Spilled paint: Dilution is the key. When a ladder shifted and dumped nearly a gallon of paint on a concrete floor of a commercial building, he didn’t panic. He just added water, and soaked up the “painty” results with rags. “There’s not a mark on the floor,” he said.
 
Light over dark: The yellow spatter on his T-shirt belongs to Miller Paint Evolution, a high-quality paint he used to paint an accent wall. Unfortunately, he was trying to cover a dark wall with a light-toned paint, requiring five coats of paint instead of his usual two coats. That cut into his profit because he wasn’t specific enough in his contract about this contingency. He added language to his bid that indicates whether the bid reflects the use of a light, medium or dark-bodied color.
 
Financial awareness: After December 2015, he vows “My next winter will look very different.” This past winter he was still enjoying the “shock” of how much money he could earn as a business owner versus an employee. “I thought I could make money so quick…” Then, shock of a different kind set in as he realized he needed money today for a bill that was three weeks out. “I am not good yet at gauging when to hit the Mayday button,” he said.
 
Price over quality: Some people will, in fact, choose price. He lost out on a bid for a large custom home to a lower bidder even though the owner couldn’t say why the other bid was lower. Cheaper paint? Cutting corners?  Tylor wonders but will never know.