Referrals from friends, relatives are a good thing
Homeowners still rely on word of mouth to find a contractor
and that’s a good thing, according to the Construction Contractors Board (CCB).
“Using a licensed contractor that has done quality work for friends,
relatives or neighbors is the best way to ensure your project is a success,” Enforcement
Manager Stan Jessup said.
The CCB commissions an annual survey of Oregon homeowners
and 75 percent of those interviewed this year said they would use a referral
from someone they know to find a contractor.
Another 32 percent identified
Internet lists such as Angie’s List or Craigslist as places to find
“Getting ideas from online lists is OK but you still must
vet the contractor thoroughly,” Jessup said. “That means verifying that the
person’s CCB license is active and that the name matches the person you might
do business with.”
“It also means you still need to check references,” he added.
“Don’t rely on online reviews for all
Other survey findings
- While 82 percent of Oregonians agree that it’s important to
use licensed contractors, only 41 actually verify the license by contacting the
CCB or using its website to look up a license. The easiest way to check a
license is to obtain a CCB license number and enter it in the “search” feature
at www.oregon.gov/ccb. Anyone who is
advertising online must include his or her CCB number. If you have questions or
need assistance, contact the CCB at 503-378-4621.
- A total of 67 percent of those surveyed know that it is
illegal to use an unlicensed contractor to build a home or assist with a home
improvement project. Homeowners can also report suspected unlicensed
contractors on the CCB website.
- Most projects are a success – 86 percent of homeowners with recent
projects said in the survey they were satisfied with the work. However, 9
percent were dissatisfied.
Licensing in Oregon carries important protections for homeowners.
It means the contractor is bonded and insured, and the CCB may be able to mediate
“Taking the time to really check out contractors at the
front end will help avoid problems in the long run, and finding quality
contractors through people you trust is key,” Jessup said.