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State Urges Oregonians To Check Contractor Licenses During Wildfire Rebuild

Andy Nelson

The state is urging Oregonians who are rebuilding after this month’s wildfires to make sure any contractors they hire are properly licensed.

It can be tempting to hire someone as quickly as possible, but Stan Jessup, enforcement program manager for the Oregon Construction Contractors Board, said it pays to do your homework.

Licensed contractors carry liability insurance to protect homeowners. If you do hire an unlicensed contractor, and "the work turns out to be substandard, you’re pretty much on your own, because we can issue civil penalties against them but we can’t recover for the consumer," said Jessup.

Jessup said red flags include workers going door-to-door to solicit jobs, companies that say they have leftover materials from another job, or a contractor who demands a cash payment up front.

He said legitimate firms will prominently display their license number, which can be double-checked on the Construction Contractors Board website.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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