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CONSUMER INFORMATION
Value of a License
In obtaining a Landscape Contracting Business license a business has agreed to submit themselves to regulation that requires a higher standard of business operation. This license provides the consumer with some very specific protections. This includes, but is not limited to:
 
A surety bond which allows a consumer recourse if there is a breach of contract or negligent or improper work.  
 
Liability insurance that provides protection to the consumer’s property if damage occurs during the construction phase of the project.
 
A Landscape Construction Professional directly supervising the landscaping work performed who has demonstrated through examination and experience a minimum level of competency to perform and supervise the work.
 
A dispute resolution process administered by the board that attempts to keep the consumer and the landscape contracting businesses out of court thus saving both parties the stress and legal costs associated with lawyers and courts.
 
Workers Compensation Insurance which protects the employee and frees the consumer from responsibility in the event there is a personal injury on the work site.
 
As a consumer, when you contract with a licensed landscape contracting business you can be confident that you have a higher level of protection of your investment in your landscape project.
 
A licensed business that follows all the laws that govern landscaping work in Oregon including employment, workers compensation and department of revenue contributes to the betterment of living in Oregon.
 
How to Avoid Common Problems

• Make sure the business is licensed with the LCB.  Go to license search.  You may search by license number or business name. You may also click on “other searches” to search for landscape contracting businesses in your area by city, zip code, or county. The search results will only return active and suspended landscape contracting business licenses.  Expired licenses will not show up in search results.  Are you having problems or want further information?  Call the LCB office at 503-967-6291 and the staff will be happy to help you with any questions.

Use a written contract. All landscape projects require, by law, a written contract. This protects you and the landscape contracting business in case of a dispute. One of the biggest causes of problems in the landscaping industry is lack of a contract, a poorly written contract or a contract that has not been read. Put all agreements in writingIf something changes along the way and you decide to add/subtract portions of the work - do it in writing.  Make sure the costs associated with the change are included in the change order. 

Plan your project carefully. Making a plan is important for visualization of the project and for determining your expectations. Talk about money and always consider your budget when planning. Study your plans carefully, walk through the project and approve the plans in writing before work begins.
Develop a list of potential landscape contracting businesses. Ask friends, neighbors, relatives and co-workers who they have used and would recommend from their experience.
Get two or more written bids. Make sure you understand the differences in the bid elements and the price variations in the bids. Be careful of low bids, “special deals” or a “great deal from a friend of a friend”. A higher bid may be worth the price in better materials, workmanship and reliability.
Pay in Installments. Contractors normally require a down-payment. Usually this is from 25% to 35% of the total contract price. It is important to find the balance where the landscape contracting business has enough money to buy the materials necessary to start the project, but you retain enough money to ensure satisfactory completion. Do not let your payments get ahead of the work completed. You can request invoices from your contractor that determine the percentage completion on a job which allows you to determine the progress of the project. Make your final payment when the job is complete, all suppliers and subcontractors are paid and you are satisfied with the work.
Avoid Liens. Homeowners are ultimately responsible for payments to subcontractors and suppliers even if they have paid their licensed landscape contracting business in full. Do not let your landscaping start until you receive an Information Notice to Owner about Construction Liens.” This explains liens and how to protect yourself. Read it carefully and follow the advice.
Obtain all needed construction permits.  Some parts of a landscaping project require permits from the building department in your city or county.  Examples are: driveways, some decks, retaining walls in excess of a certain height, backflow installation and low voltage wiring (irrigation wire in some areas).  Usually contractors obtain these permits, but ultimately the owner is responsible for insuring all required permits are obtained.
It's OK to ask a lot of questions.  Examples:  What experience or expertise do you have?  Do you have specialty areas?  Who will be supervising the work from your company?  Who will be dong the actual work?  Who and when can I call when I have questions during the course of the project?  How long will the project take?  What condition will the project be left at the end of each work day?  What inconveniences or potential problems will I encounter during the project?
Keep good written records. Keep a log of conversations, copies of correspondence, cancelled checks, the contract, change orders and receipts. If problems arise you will have them documented.
Communicate. Do not be afraid to talk to the business owner or landscape construction professional during the project. Most problems arise between clients and contractors because of lack of communication. If the contractor refuses to return calls, or if you refuse to communicate your questions or problems, the project is sure to result in a dispute.
 
How to Get Help if There is a Problem

A consumer can file a claim with the LCB if the landscape contracting business is licensed, there is a contract with the business and the business has done negligent or improper work or breached a contract.  

The deadline for filing a claim is one year from when the work was substantially completed. Time spent on warranty work does not extend this deadline.

 
Claim Forms
Owner Claim Form 
Material Supplier Claim Form 
Sub Contractor Claim Form
 
Possible Violations of the Law

 

Do you believe someone unlicensed is advertising for or doing work that may require a license?  Please fill out a enforcement referral form and submit to the office. 

All possible illegal landscape construction work that is reported to the LCB is followed up on.  When a report of illegal landscape activity is reported to the LCB office the information is verified and if warranted, an investigator is dispatched to the scene to investigate.

 
Public Records
Public Records Request
If you wish to request copies of a file the Landscape Contractors Board may have or a listing of licensees, please fill out a public records request form.

Certificate of Licensure
The Landscape Contractors Board can provide you a Certificate of Licensure if you believe you need one.  Please call or email the office.