Education

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Lead-Based Paint Renovation Certificate and License
Licensing Manager Laurie Hall

Did you know that your lead-based paint training (RRP) certificate, your Lead-Based Paint Renovation license, and your CCB construction license all have different expiration dates? Here’s a review of the three documents.

Training (RRP) certificate:
This is a document you must keep current to hold a valid Lead-Based Paint Renovation license. It shows you have current training in how to handle lead paint. This certificate is valid for five years from the date you complete the initial eight-hour training in lead paint.  You must take a four- hour refresher course BEFORE the expiration date of the initial certificate to maintain a valid certificate.  If your certificate has already expired, you must take the eight-hour initial course to get recertified.

Important:
You must submit your new certificate to the CCB. (You can do so by fax, email or mail; include your CCB number with the certificate so we can match it up to your lead license.) Education providers are not required to send this to us.

CCB lead license:
Second, your Lead-Based Paint Renovation license expires every year on the date you originally submitted your application.  This date will almost always be different than the date your certificate expires.  If your certificate expires before your Lead-Based Paint Renovation license expires, the lead license will be suspended until CCB receives a new certificate.  This suspension does not affect your CCB contractor license. However, it does mean you should not be bidding or working on homes built prior to 1978.
 
If you do not plan to continue working on older homes, let us know and you can end your lead license voluntarily rather than have a suspension on your lead-license record. Call 503-378-4621.

CCB contractor license:
Lastly, your CCB contractor license expires every two years on the date you originally submitted your application.  Most contractors must complete continuing education before they are eligible to renew their CCB license.

How to get certificates to the CCB
    •Fax: 503-373-2007
    •Email: ccb.info@state.or.us
    •Mail: PO Box 14140, Salem, OR 97309-5052

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2015 laws that may impact you
Policy Analyst Kathleen Dahlin

The 2015 Oregon legislature passed several laws that may impact you.  The following is a brief discussion of some of the laws we have not already written about.  For more detailed information, visit the Legislature’s website.  See https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2015R1/Measures/list/.  The bill number and session chapter are listed at the end of each law.

Demolishing houses containing asbestos
Starting Jan. 1, 2016, an accredited inspector must determine whether asbestos is present in a house before it can be demolished.  (Senate Bill 705; Oregon Laws 2015, chapter 583).

Landscape contractors
Starting Jan. 1, 2016, the law makes several changes for landscape contractors.  It also impacts construction contractors.  Changes for construction contractors include the following: In some cases, if a business is licensed by both the Landscape Contractors Board (LCB) and CCB, its customers may file a claim with either board.  A landscape contractor may subcontract with a construction contractor (for example, a plumber or electrician).  The LCB bond will cover tree work – currently only covered under the CCB bond.  A landscape contractor may install or repair artificial turf, other than for sports fields.  (Senate Bill 580; Oregon Laws 2015, chapter 672).

Statewide sick leave
Starting Jan. 1, 2016, all Oregon businesses must provide sick leave to their workers. Businesses must provide paid sick leave if they have 10 or more workers, or, if located in Portland, six or more workers. Workers must receive at least one hour of sick leave for each 30 hours worked. Workers may accrue up to five days (40 hours) of sick leave each year.  Workers may take time off for themselves or to care for a family member. The law does not apply if the employer is the parent, spouse or child of the worker. The Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) will provide education about the new law. BOLI may also issue fines to enforce the law – although not before Jan. 1, 2017. (Senate Bill 454; Oregon Laws 2015, chapter 537).

Ban-the-Box law
Starting Jan.1, 2016, it is unlawful to ask about criminal convictions on an employment application or to exclude a job applicant from an initial interview based on a criminal conviction. If a business does not conduct interviews, it may not ask about criminal convictions before making a conditional offer of employment. More than 100 cities, counties and states have adopted similar legislation, known as “ban-the-box” laws.  These laws are designed to encourage businesses to consider a job candidate’s qualifications first, without the stigma of a criminal record.  (House Bill 3025; Oregon Laws 2015, chapter 559).

Retirement plan
Starting July 1, 2017, Oregon will require businesses that do not offer a retirement plan to automatically enroll workers in a state-run retirement program.  Businesses must deduct a portion of a worker’s wages to fund the retirement account.  Businesses do not need to contribute to the plan. Workers may opt out of the plan.  (House Bill 2960; Oregon Laws 2015, chapter 557).

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Endorsements:  Is your residential endorsement sufficient?
Enforcement Manager Stan Jessup

In some cases, a residential endorsement is sufficient even though you work on a non-residential structure.  In other cases, you need a commercial endorsement.  Contractors are permitted to hold both endorsements, usually, the only additional cost is for a second bond.

If you have a residential endorsement, you can work on a small commercial structure. A small commercial structure includes the following:

  • A building with a footprint of less than 10,000 square feet.  The interior of the building must be less than 20 feet high.
  • A unit within a larger building if the unit footprint is less than 12,000 square feet.  The interior of the unit must be less than 20 feet high.
  • A building or unit of any size as long as the total cost of the project for all construction is less than $250,000.

You can perform construction on some of the following structures (or projects) under your residential endorsement:

Constructing a nonresidential concrete block building with a footprint of 8,000 square feet and interior height of less than 20 feet. Total construction cost is $2 million.
     a. This qualifies as small commercial because of the building size, regardless of the total cost. 
     b. A residential endorsement is sufficient.

Constructing a pole barn horse arena with a footprint of 30,000 square feet and interior height of 21 feet. Total construction cost is $240,000.
     a. This qualifies as small commercial because the total project cost is less than $250,000, even though the structure exceeds the size limits.
     b. A residential endorsement is sufficient. 

Remodeling an existing warehouse to add an office in one part of the building.  The warehouse has a footprint of 40,000 square feet and an interior height of 36 feet.  Total construction cost is $20,000.

     a. This qualifies as small commercial because the total project cost is less than $250,000, even though the structure exceeds the size limits.
     b. A residential endorsement is sufficient.
You may need a commercial or residential and commercial (dual) endorsement under these conditions:

Renovating a building with retail space on the ground level and residential dwellings (apartments or condominiums) on the second and third floors.  This is sometimes called a “mixed use” building.  The building footprint is 30,000 square feet.  Total construction cost is $15 million.
     a. The size and project cost make this “large commercial structure” construction.
     b. You need a commercial endorsement to perform this work.
     c. However, if a resident or owner of an apartment or condo unit hires you to renovate their unit only, the work qualifies as residential construction and your residential 
         endorsement is sufficient.

Renovating a four-story condominium building.  The building footprint is 30,000 square feet.  Total construction cost is $10 million.
     a. Because the building contains only residential dwelling units and is 4 stories or less, the work is residential construction.
     b. A residential endorsement is appropriate. In fact, a contractor with only a commercial endorsement may not perform this work.

Renovating a five-story condominium building.  The building footprint is 30,000 square feet.  Total construction cost is $15 million.
     a. Because the building is more than 4 stories, the work involves a large commercial structure. 
     b. You need a commercial endorsement to perform this work.

For some contractors, such as those that provide specialty services like floor coverings, it probably makes sense to have both endorsements. 

Call CCB if you have questions.  We will help you obtain the proper endorsement for the job.

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Resources

The IRS is sponsoring a webinar on starting a business that is geared towards small business organizations and business owners.
The webinar will be held from 11 a.m. to noon Mountain Time (10-11 a.m. our time) on Wednesday, Oct. 14.

To register, go to https://www.webcaster4.com/Webcast/Page/1147/10460.

If you have any problems registering, contact SL.northwest@irs.gov.

Webinar Topics
 -Good recordkeeping
 -Reporting all taxable income
 -Separating business and personal expenses
 -Making sure your returns are accurate
 -Using e-file to increase filing accuracy and speed
 -Making sure you avoid tax scams
 -Choosing your preparer  carefully

Need Health Insurance?
Visit HealthCare.gov between Nov. 1, 2015 and Jan. 31, 2016 to enroll and to see if you qualify for financial assistance to help pay for the costs. If you aren’t working with an insurance agent already, you can find free, local help by going to OregonHealthCare.gov or by calling 855-268-3767.

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CCB’s New Offices are Green
Licensing Manager Laurie Hall

CCB offices in the six-story Beardsley Building in downtown Salem sports an array of solar panels.

Building owner, Beardsley Building Development, contracted with Advanced Energy Systems to install 68 SolarWorld modules. Each produces up to 285 watts. The project uses state and federal energy incentives, which turn tax liability into green energy.

During its lifetime, the solar system will offset 340 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), the equivalent of emissions from 34,590 gallons of gasoline. Put another way, this is equal to the work of 7,880 trees in reducing carbon. 

In addition to the solar panels, Beardsley Building Development retrofitted exterior lighting with LED bulbs, added low-flow aerators to existing faucets, replaced older HVAC units in server rooms with high efficiency units, and added solar film to south-facing windows.

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Education updates
The JLC Live residential construction show, which includes building clinics and product demonstrations, will be held Dec. 2-4 at the Oregon Convention Center. Learn more here:  http://nw.jlclive.com/.  The CCB will be on hand Dec. 2 to offer a three-hour laws, regulations and business practices course for those who need these continuing education credits to renew their license. The class is from 1:30-4:30 p.m. You can find our registration form at http://www.oregon.gov/ccb/pages/ccbclasses.aspx. Register for JLC separately.

How to take CCB classes
Most residential contractors are required to take three hours of CCB classes as part of their continuing education requirements. We check to see if you have done so when you renew your license.

You can only take CCB classes on our website or from CCB staff if we are teaching a live class in your area.
Here’s how to take the classes online:
  1. Click on “contractor login” at the top of our home page: www.oregon.gov/ccb.
  2. Log into your “Online Services” account.
  3. Click on “continuing education.”
  4. Click on “purchase a CCB class.”
  5. Select three courses, and follow the directions to pay ($45).
  6. The courses show up under the tab called “Purchased CCB classes and certificates.”
  7. Click on the links to watch.
How to know if a business is approved to teach classes
Lots of you get advertising from businesses offering continuing education classes. You can check this page to see if the education provider is approved by us: http://www.oregon.gov/CCB/education/Pages/res-courseproviders.aspx.

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Home owners say it’s important to use a licensed contractor

The CCB regularly surveys Oregonians to see if they know about the agency’s regulation of the construction industry, including the need to use licensed contractors. These results are based on a random telephone survey of 500 Oregon property owners conducted in June 2015.
81% of Oregonians who built a home or did a project are satisfied with the work.
80% agree it’s important to use a licensed contractor although far fewer actually verify a contractor’s license with the CCB.
78% rely on referrals (friends, neighbors) when finding a contractor. 41% of people who did a home project in the past five years attended a home show.
58% know that it is illegal for contractors to build, remodel or repair without a CCB license.
49% have built a new home or improved their home in the past five years.
45% are aware of the CCB and what they do.

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Meet a new contractor
We’ll follow him through his first year of business
Communications Manager Cheryl Martinis

Tylor Isaac Stone, 25, is still reeling from his first paycheck as his own boss. He landed a job painting the inside of a new house, and earned about as much in a week as he did in a typical month as an employee. But that’s not the only thing that changed once he walked out the door of the Construction Contractors Board (CCB), flush with a contractor license.  
For example, when he wanted to take a few days off to camp with his wife, Tylor had no one to ask but himself. After all, he is Tylor Isaac Stone Contracting.
“How cool is that?” he asks.

“How scary is that?” Winter is just around the corner and that’s the Grinch that steals painters’ paychecks.  As of this hot summer day, Tylor is booked solid for just two weeks out with bids to write at night. Generally, the future is as clear as the black trim he is painting on a fancy horse arena outside of Philomath. “You can only see so many weeks ahead,” he said. Yet, even as veterans of the construction industry worry about attracting the next generation of skilled workers, Tylor embraces the challenge of learning the trade and growing his own business. “Although I have more responsibility, I also have more flexibility,” he said. “The hardest part is thinking like an owner.”

So the Toolbox plans to follow Tylor through his first year as a contractor. We’ll watch him set up his business - find clients, hone bids, figure out insurance and taxes, meet his mentor, and more. Tylor figures his experience might resonate with other new contractors. He’s willing to share what he learns.

Getting licensed
On July 22, Tylor became CCB #207311. That means the state has licensed roughly 200,000 other contracting businesses since it began regulating contractors in 1971. And that makes Tylor about as fresh as a new coat of paint. While he never dreamed of owning his own business, and is starting from scratch, he has two big pluses. He has a mentor and he has a vision for his business. 

His two first year goals:
  •     Survive the winter
  •     Earn at least as much, after taxes, as he did as an employee.

Background
Tylor brings roughly seven years of painting experience to his business. He landed his first construction job in Corvallis at age 18 but didn’t last long. “I didn’t really know how to do anything,” he said. He tried painting with a large national company but made about half as much as he did bartending and wasn’t impressed with the quality. Then, he went to work for fellow contractor Travis Wagar, and began to enjoy the work. “Travis never treated me like an employee,” Tylor said. “He treated me like a sub-contractor, even in the beginning, when I knew very little.”

After a handful of seasons together, Travis not only suggested Tylor go out on his own, he loaned him money for startup costs. For his part, Travis said he is limited in how much he can pay, so he often takes on promising painters with a work ethic, then “pushes them out the door” when they’re ready. Besides Tylor, one other protégé started his own business.
Tylor is convinced that such a mentor is the path to success for new contractors. “He taught me a way of thinking, not just how to work,” he said. It’s Travis’s approach to business that Tylor wants to emulate: Simple, personal, quality.  In Tylor’s words:  “I’m the bidder, I’m the worker, I’m the guy who shakes your hand at the end of the job. “

First, though, Tylor needed a contractor license. To do that, he had to complete a 16-hour course covering Oregon laws and rules governing construction contracting and pass a test. He polished off the 80-question exam at a test center, then headed straight to CCB offices for a license. He had business cards by the next day. “I was like a giddy school girl,” he said.

Not long afterwards, he received that first check. It read Tylor Isaac Stone Contracting. The only problem?  He couldn’t cash it until he opened a business account under that name at his bank. And, yes, he paid Travis back out of that first check.

Insurance hassles
Insurance, however, was the biggest bugaboo. While Travis helped him calculate bids for the first jobs, finding an insurance agency familiar with “contractor insurance” (general liability and surety bonds) was more difficult. And, Tylor learned that his annual premium for liability insurance buys limited coverage. It’s not about insuring workmanship or helping him if he’s hurt and can’t work. “It’s really just if you drop a tool through someone’s window,” he noted.  Put another way, the policy will cover property damage or injuries he might cause as a result of his work.

And, if he wants to explore another trade – say roofing – he needs to report in first to his agent for any policy/price adjustments. On his first job, he was careful to just work indoors because that’s all his policy covers. If he wants to subcontract on a project, he’ll need to be in touch with his agent to get the paperwork a general contractor will likely require.

What next
Winter’s on its way, and that’s when we’ll next check in with Tylor. Watch your winter Toolbox to see how he’s surviving the season. In just his first month, though, Tylor graduated from taking his wife’s Subaru to the first couple of jobs to a “beater” work truck with a few tools.  While the office is the living room of their one-bedroom Albany apartment, the experience has proven “empowering to the relationship.” Already, he and wife, Joelle, share the questions that now are part of daily life. Should we take this bid? How much should I work next week? What should I price this at? How should we spend this paycheck? Can I buy this tool? “So now she feels really connected to our way of making money,” Tylor said.

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Cost to become a contractor

These are Tylor’s costs to become a contractor as a sole proprietor, starting off with a limited residential endorsement.
Limited contractors can’t earn more than $40,000 in a year or work on projects with a value of more than $5,000 per job. 

$149: Required 16-hour pre-license training.
$60:   Pre-license exam featuring 80 questions, mostly about aspects of government regulation of contractors. (Passed with a 93.7 percent)
$325: CCB licensing fee for two years.
$600: His annual premium for liability insurance providing $500,000 worth of coverage. (Able to pay $50 monthly so didn’t need the full $600 up front).
$100: A year’s premium on the required surety bond of $10,000.

Total: $1,234 for the bare necessities.

Tylor chose this type of license to keep his insurance costs down. However, he is already seeing the need to upgrade to a residential specialty endorsement that will allow him to work on bigger painting projects.

Workers’ compensation insurance:
Since Tylor has no employees, he does not need workers’ compensation coverage.

Business registration:
As a sole proprietor with no employees, Tylor did not need to register his business with the Secretary of State or get state or federal tax identification numbers.

Assumed business name:
For now, he is using his full name (Tylor Isaac Stone Contracting) so he did not have to file an assumed business name with the state. Eventually, he wants to drop “Isaac” from the business name. That will cost the $50 filing fee.

Licensing: 
He doesn’t yet have the special lead license that will enable him to work legally on pre-1978 homes that might have lead paint. He expects to eventually take the required training and get the special license.

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Civil Penalties
View penalties.