Contractors working in Douglas County racked up more than a dozen violations of state regulations during a recent sweep of contractors in Southern Oregon.

A Construction Contractors Board sweep was conducted two weeks ago in Douglas, Lake, Klamath, Jackson and Josephine counties. Douglas County violations were found in Roseburg, Sutherlin, Myrtle Creek and Winston; other violations were found in Klamath Falls, Central Point, Eagle Point, Medford, Merrill, Ashland and Grants Pass.

There were a total of 13 violations in Douglas County, said CCB spokeswoman Leslie Culpepper. Three violations were given for contractors working without a license; two violations were given for contractors who did not have the proper workers compensation coverage; three violations were given for not having a lead-based paint license; three violations were given for exempt contractors working with employees; and two violations were handed out for contractors not having their assumed business name listed on their license.

Culpepper said she could not give out the names of those violators because they are still being investigated and are not considered final.

By law, nearly everyone who builds a home or alters a structure must be licensed by the CCB. Contractors who bid and perform work on homes built before 1978 must have a lead-based paint license.

“When a homeowner wants to hire a contractor the first thing they should do is check out their license,” Culpepper said. “Homeowners who hire an unlicensed contractor don’t have the consumer protections that they would have with a licensed contractor. There are a lot of advantages to hiring a licensed contractor.”

For example, CCB’s dispute resolution section provides mediation services to homeowners in dispute with their licensed contractor. The CCB also requires all licensed contractors to carry a bond and insurance, to protect homeowners.

Homeowners who hire unlicensed contractors have little recourse when a home improvement goes wrong. Some homeowners choose to go to court at their own expense, but many simply give up and hire a licensed contractor to repair the damage.

The recent sweep of 249 job sites uncovered 63 contractor violations, including 13 instances of working without a license and eight lead-based paint violations, Culpepper said. That represents the highest number of job sites and violations in recent history.

“This is one of our most successful enforcement sweeps both in terms of job sites checked and violations found,” CCB Administrator Chris Huntington said in a prepared statement. “These coordinated efforts are a great tool in achieving our mission of protecting consumers while also leveling the field for contractors that play by the rules.”

The CCB encourages homeowners to verify their contractor’s license on the CCB website at http://search.ccb.state.or.us/search/. Anyone with questions can call the CCB at 503-378-4621.

Scott Carroll can be reached at scarroll@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4204. Or follow him on Twitter @scottcarroll15.

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