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Contractor and customers shaking hands

What is Required to File A Compla​int?​

Here is a list of who can file a complaint with the CCB and the most common deadlines:
  • If you are a property owner alleging breach of contract, negligence or improper work on a new structure the complaint must be received within one year from the date the structure was first occupied or within two years of substantial completion of the structure, whichever is earlier. If you are a property owner with a complaint involving an existing structure, the complaint forms must be received within one year after the date the work was substantially completed.
  • If you are an employee alleging nonpayment of wages, your complaint must be received within one year from the date the wages were earned.
  • If you are a supplier alleging nonpayment for materials, your complaint must be received within one year from the date the materials were sold. 
  • If you are a subcontractor alleging non-payment for labor or materials furnished to a primary contractor, your complaint must be received within one year from the date the work was performed.
  • If you are a primary contractor filing a complaint against a subcontractor for breach of contract or negligent or improper work involving a new structure:
    • The complaint must be received within 14 months from the date the structure was first occupied or, 
    • Two years after substantial completion of the structure, whichever is earlier.
  • If you are a primary contractor filing a complaint against a subcontractor for breach of contract or negligent or improper work involving an existing structure:
    • The complaint must be received within 14 months from the date the contractor substantially completed the work. 
If you have a situation that doesn't fit these circumstances, call us at (503) 934-2247.

Steps To File A Compla​​​int Against A Contractor​

If you file a complaint with us and it is in our jurisdiction, our dispute resolution staff will do their best to help you reach a settlement with your contractor.  Also, we can only help if the contractor was licensed during your construction project. If the contractor was unlicensed, our enforcement staff may be able penalize the contractor and encourage him or her to address your concerns.  The booklet, Resolving Disputes Packet​​, offers additional information on filing complaints. Or you can watch an instructional video on How To File a Contractor Complaint with the CCB.  

Before you file your complaint:
  1. ​You must give the contractor notice by certified mail that you intend to file a complaint with the CCB. You must mail this Notice at least 30-days before you file the complaint.
  2. If the notice is returned or the contractor refuses to accept delivery, you can still file your complaint 30-days after you mail the notice by certified mail.  ​
  3. We have a Pre-Complaint Notice​​ that you can use to generate a notice. 
Pre-Complaint Notice

Complaint Form(s)​​​ ​

Complaints with us must be filed within strict time limits, mentioned above​.  All complaints must be filed against licensed contractors using one of these forms:
You may have to pay a $50 processing fee.  CCB staff will contact the complainant after an initial review of the submitted documents to determine if we have jurisdiction. ​

A few thoughts about looking for a reliable, licensed contractor:


​First: Is your contractor licensed?

The Construction Contractors Board (CCB) believes the best way to a successful home improvement, repair or new home project is to know your contractor.

  • If the contractor is actively licensed and has a surety bond
  • If the contractor submitted proof of liability insurance when first licensed and at renewal
  • If the contractor is licensed to work on pre-1978 homes that could contain lead-based paint
  • If the contractor carries workers' compensation insurance to protect its workers
  • If the contractor had any complaints or disciplinary actions filed with the CCB in the past 10 years

Other reasons to use a licensed contractor​​

  • The CCB can help mediate disputes between you and a contractor but only if the contractor is licensed. 
  • Licensed contractors can be held accountable if something goes wrong. 
  • Only licensed contractors are able to get the required building permits.
  • Licensed contractors have completed training and passed a test about laws and business practices for construction contracting. 

Checking ​​skil​​ls

Oregon does not require contractors - other than plumbers, electricians and a few other specific trades - to have training in construction. That's why it is important to check references and research a contractor's specific skills once you verify the business is licensed.​​

Finding a reliable contractor

Rob Yorke, retired Oregon commercial contractor, discusses how to hire a reliable contractor and avoid problems on your next project.​

Part 1 - Prequalification

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Part 2 - Get bids

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Part 3 - Negotiate a contract

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Part 4 - Manage the work​

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​Door-to-door solicitors​​

Be cautious if you get an unsolicited door-to-door offer. Organized groups known as “travelers” move from state to state posing as contractors. They often distribute flyers and knock on doors.

They may demand cash up front or may take a check and cash it right away, never returning to do the work. If they perform work, it is usually substandard.

Typical Scams​

  • Roof repair: They may slide a few new shingles under old ones, then spray the roof with useless oil.
  • Sealant: They use a watery liquid or oil as a fake sealant on driveways, fencing, or roofing.
  • Paving: Their workmanship is substandard, usually only laying down a thin layer of paving that soon breaks part.
  • Leftover materials: They say they will save you money by using leftover materials from another house in the area.
  • Diversion: One person distracts you while the other slips into the house to steal valuables.

Red Flags​​

  • Unmarked vehicles with out-of-state plates.
  • Business card doesn’t list a CCB license number (or lists a fake one). It may also give an 800 phone number and a PO box as an address.
  • The people seem friendly but talk fast to confuse you and use scare tactics, saying  your repairs must be done immediately or your home will be unsafe.
  • An offer to use your home as a display home for a discounted price.
  • An offer for a discount if you find them more customers in the area.
  • Resistance to a written estimate and contract.
  • A very low estimate. A price that is too good to be true often turns into a construction nightmare.

Protect Yourself​​​

  • Check with the CCB to make sure anyone you might hire is licensed. Call 503-378-4621 to verify information and ask about any complaint history.
  • Never agree to buy services on the spot. Always get a few more bids from other contractors before making a decision.
  • Always get a written contract that includes a detailed description of the work, materials, costs, start and end dates.
  • Never pay the full amount up front and don't pay in cash. Write your check to the business name that you have contracted with to do the repair or project. ​​
Keep up on avoiding scams and fraud.  Subscribe to receive emailed communications from the CCB.

Sign up for CCB Email communications
​​ ​

Find out what your insurance covers

Scam artists prey on victims of storms, floods, wildfires and other disasters involving widespread property damage. To avoid costly mistakes:
  • Contact your insurance agent to find out what is covered by your policy before hiring a contractor.
  • Check the contractor’s license and complaint history with the Construction Contractors Board before signing any contract.

Red flags 

  • Flyers and business cards left on doorsteps. Legitimate contractors wait for you to contact them.
  • Anyone who appears in an area offering repairs immediately following a disaster may be a scam artist. Some pose as government officials and claim that you must pay a "processing fee" to get disaster relief payments or loans. Others pretend to be safety inspectors and tell you that expensive or unneeded repairs must be done immediately.
  • The scammer offers to start work on the spot and says you will only be charged the amount of your insurance company settlement - even before your insurer has discussed a settlement offer. 
  • The scammer asks for full payment or a large deposit up front.
  • The scammer asks for cash to buy materials even though legitimate contractors have accounts with suppliers and don't operate on a cash-only basis. ​


What should be in a contract?

One of the best ways to avoid construction disputes is negotiate and follow a well-written construction contract. Well-written construction contracts often include the following:
  • Full name and CCB license number of the general contractor as it appears on this site. Verify that the contractor is licensed, and check the history​.
  • Full name of the owner, the job address and contact information such as phone numbers.
  • A detailed description of the scope of construction work.
  • List of specific building materials to be used in the project.
  • Start and completion dates.
  • Total price of the project, including labor and materials, and a payment schedule.
  • List of allowance items (lighting, fixtures, plumbing fixtures, appliances, etc.) and the budgeted amount, if any.
  • List of required permits, including who will be responsible for obtaining them.
  • Agreement that any changes to the contract will only be done upon written “change orders” signed by both the contractor and the homeowner.
  • Signature of both parties to the contract.
Keep a signed copy of your contract, and all related materials in a safe place. All consumer protection notices should be read, understood, and maintained with your contract documents.   

Arbitration clauses

Construction contracts often contain arbitration clauses. Arbitration clauses spell out how the parties will resolve their differences if things don't work out. Arbitration is a way to settle disputes outside, or instead of, a lawsuit.

Before signing a contract with an arbitration clause, understand:
  • Who will arbitrate
  • What arbitration might cost
  • What rules the parties will use if they must arbitrate their dispute 
Because your construction contract may represent the single biggest purchase you and your family ever make, you may want your own lawyer to review your contract before you sign.

Homeowners’ right to cancel

One-day right to cancel 
A property owner can cancel any initial contract for construction, improvement, or repair of a residential structure by giving the contractor a written notice of cancellation prior to midnight of the next business day. Some exceptions apply such as work already substantially begun. 
The contractor does not have any notice requirements. (ORS 701.310.) 

Three-day right to cancel 
Buyers have a three-day right to cancel a home solicitation contract when the contract is solicited at any place that is not the seller’s permanent place of business. 

A construction contract is subject to this law if there is a personal solicitation made by the contractor or the contractor’s agent and the contractor’s offer is accepted anywhere other than the contractor’s permanent place of business. For example, you meet with a contractor in a restaurant. This applies to contracts for remodeling or repairs, not construction of a new house.

Regardless of who initiates the contact, the property owner must be given notice of his or her right to rescind the contract. (ORS 83.720) ​


Avoid these mistakes

Not checking a contractor’s license

A license is required for any construction business that advertises, offers, bids, arranges for, or performs any construction, alteration, home improvement, remodeling or repair work. You lose the ability to recover damages through a bond and get CCB help mediating a dispute  if you use an unlicensed contractor.

No written contract 

A written contract protects you and the contractor. Construction agreements for more than $2,000 must be in writing. The CCB recommends that all agreements, including all changes to the contract, be in writing.

Not getting more th​an one bid​​/automatically accepting the lowest bid 

Getting more than one bid can help you get a feel for what your project should cost. The old saying “you get what you pay for” generally applies here. A higher bid may be worth the price in better materials, workmanship and reliability.

Not checking references

Check with previous customers. Were they satisfied with the work? Was the work finished within a reasonable time? Did the contractor return phone calls? If the person had problems with the contractor, ask how the contractor responded. Look at examples of the contractor’s work.

Not doing your homework

Plan your project carefully. Consider your budget. Find pictures of styles and products you like. Write down brand names and models. Show them to your contractor. High-quality faucets or ivory paint may mean something different to you and your contractor. Walk with your builder through a finished project and explain what you like and don’t like. Get accurate plans or blueprints and make sure they show your project accurately.​​

Verify a contractor’s license

Licensed contractors are bonded and insured and are easier to hold accountable should problems arise. You can look ​up their recent history of disciplinary actions on our website.
Check a license yourself or call us at 503-378-4621. We’re happy to help!


Are you an employer?

You may be considered an employer if you use workers not licensed by the Construction Contractors Board to help build or remodel your home. 

Any unlicensed contractors on your project could be considered "employees." As an employer, you would have tax-withholding, insurance and other requirements. You would be responsible to get permits.

Read this Information Notice to Owners About Construction Responsibilities​ to learn more about your potential responsibilities.


Need a speaker?
Call 503-934-2227 or email​​.​


Free publications

CCB provides free publications on topics relating to home improvement, how to perform your home improvement project, why hire a licensed contractor and more.

Our most popular publications include:
  • Guide to Selecting a Contractor​ - English and Guide to Selecting a Contractor - Spanish.  This guide provides in-depth information for homeowners beginning a large-scale home improvement project.
  • "Anyone Can Pretend to Be a Contractor" business card holders for contractors.  These business card holders contain important messaging about how to search for a contractor’s license online. Contractors: give it away to consumers when you’re giving them your bid!

We send free publications to:
  • Contractors
  • Consumers
  • Real Estate Professionals
  • Insurance Professionals
  • Community Groups (town councils, town halls, homeowner associations, libraries and more)
Do you represent a community group, like a town council, a local non-profit or a retirement community? We can send publications to distribute or make available in your lobby or resource room.


CCB provides webinars on topics such as:
  • How to hire a licensed contractor
  • How to protect yourself from unlicensed contractor scams
  • How to perform home improvement projects during real estate transactions
We commonly present webinars to real estate groups, community groups, town councils, nonprofits and more.  If you would like to see a presentation on these topics or others, call Leslie Culpepper at 503-934-2195 or email

Newsletter articles

Does your organization publish a newsletter that covers consumer protection information? We’re happy to contribute articles on topics aimed at real estate audiences, consumers performing home repairs or home improvement projects, and more.

If you would like to publish an article on one of these topics or others, call Leslie Culpepper at 503-934-2195 or email

Sign up for CCB Emails
Want regular updates?​  Subscribe to email communications from the Construction Contractors Board to receive information about:​​​​ ​​
  • Rules and law changes
  • Board meetings
  • Homeowner tips
  • and more!

​What is a new home warranty?
A new home warranty is an agreement by the seller that the seller's product (in this case, a newly built home) is free from defective materials or poor workmanship.  

A warranty promises to repair or replace any defective items and faulty work. Generally, a warranty does not cover items that become defective as a result of homeowner neglect. Repair or replacement under a warranty is satisfied by meeting building industry standards. 

Some warranties may cover only major home systems. Others may provide limited coverage. Certain products or installations may be exempted depending on the individual warranty. Any new home warranty contract satisfies Oregon's law on new home warranties (ORS 701.320).  

When must a contractor offer a new home warranty?  
By law, contractors must offer the warranty either before, or at the signing of the contract for the construction of the home. The contractor is required to include written statements in the contract that indicate:  
  • A written offer of a warranty was made and
  • Whether the homeowner or purchaser accepted or rejected the offer. If the homeowner or purchaser rejects the warranty before the contract is signed, then the contractor may withdraw the offer to construct the home.

What is typically covered?   
Structural Defects. A new home warranty protects the homeowner against the failure of the structural components that support the house. Examples include: the foundation, studs, beams and joists.  

Major Home System Failures. A new home warranty protects the homeowner against the failure of major home systems: plumbing, electrical, heating, and air-conditioning. It may also protect against the failure of certain major appliances and other systems.  

Workmanship. A new home warranty promises to repair defects in workmanship.  

Additional warranties (other than the new home warranty) may be available from your contractor or the product manufacturers on items such as: dishwashers, furnaces, siding, or roofing.  

How do homeowners obtain a new home warranty?  
By law, contractors must offer the homeowner or purchaser, in writing, a new home warranty either by supplying the warranty directly, or through a company that sells warranties.  
  • A direct warranty is a contract between the contractor and the new homeowner or purchaser.
  • A purchased warranty is a contract between a company that sells warranties and the new homeowner or purchaser.
The contractor decides which type of warranty to offer, how long the warranty will last, and how much to charge for the warranty.  

What are typical warranty provisions?  
These may include: 
  • Protection against structural defects for five to 10 years
  • Repair or replacement of major systems for one to two years
  • An annual cost of $250 to $500 and an additional service fee (like a deductible) when the homeowner requests service​​

What is a construction lien?

A construction lien is a claim upon property for money owed to a contractor, material supplier or anyone who supplied labor or materials for improvements to the property. 

If your contractor isn’t paid, or if your contractor does not pay subcontractors, employees, rental equipment or material suppliers, or others who are owed money for work on your property, they may lien your property for payment. 

It is in your best interest to verify that all bills are paid, even if you pay your contractor in full. 

These documents explain more about liens:

​Notice of Right to a Lien

A Notice of Right to a Lien​ lets you know of the possibility that a lien could be placed on your property by subcontractors, employees, material suppliers and equipment rental companies.  

Sending a Notice of Right to a Lien is not the same as filing a lien claim. The notice protects the right of the person sending the notice to later file the lien.

Homebuyer Protection Act 

This law (ORS 87.007) protects home buyers from construction liens when the buyer has already paid for the construction work. Construction work performed before the sale of a home may result in a lien after the sale. 

The laws applies to:
  • A new single-family residence, condominium unit, or residential building
  • An existing single-family residence, condominium unit, or residential building that had at least $50,000 worth of improvements, additions or remodeling within three months before the sale.

Ways to protect buyers
A contractor selling a home that is subject to this law must protect the buyer from liens. To comply, the contractor-seller may:
  • Buy title insurance that does not exclude filed or unfiled claims of lien
  • Retain at least 25 percent of the sales price in escrow
  • Maintain a bond or letter of credit for at least 25 percent of the sales price
  • Obtain lien waivers or releases
  • Wait to complete the sale after the deadline for filing liens (usually 75 days)

​Compliance form

Contractors must complete the form Notice of Compliance with the Homebuyers Protection Act​​, indicating the protection selected.​

Problem with a contractor?

If you used a licensed contractor on your project, and you and the contractor have a dispute, we may be able to help you reach a settlement. Read more about who can file complaints and the deadlines involved.​

Public Records Requests​

License Certification - Records Request​ form allows you to request a Certification of your license history with the Oregon Construction Contractors Board to be sent to another State Board or Agency.  This form also allows you to request the public records of a file related to any CCB program.​​

Media interviews with CCB
CCB radio interview on McKenzie River Broadcasting's Community forum. Listen now.
Former Enforcement Manager Stan Jessup talks with KATU about how to hire a licensed contractor. ​


Didn't find the information you were looking for?  

Call 503-378-4621 or email

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Homeowner warning Oregonians about paving scams