To be a successful Oregon contractor, you need to be able to answer questions posed by potential clients. Becoming comfortable with responding to questions can make a positive impact and help a contractor get hired for the project. Keeping an Oregon contractors license current through the use of continuing education helps contractors prepare for questions in advance, increase their skillset and keep up with the latest developments in their area of expertise.
Do Oregon Contractors Provide a Contract?
While the Oregon Construction Contractors Board requires that contractors use a contract to do jobs that cost over $2,000, it is not required for jobs that cost under that amount, although it is recommended. By offering a contract on even small jobs such as minor renovations that include a complete list of materials and labor, it can offer a guarantee to the potential client that the work will be completed in a timely fashion and avoid the perception of hidden fees.
Is the Bid You Will Make an Estimate or Fixed Bid?
Because an estimate can lead to cost overruns, try to do the research first to obtain an accurate cost of the project. Surprising a client later with higher prices can lead to bad feelings and harm a contractor’s reputation. When unknowns are involved, such as unsuspected damage to interior walls, you can explain this to the owner later.
How Long Have You Been in Business in Oregon?
Hopefully, a contractor has been in business long enough to accumulate a number of references, which is what the potential client really wants. Unlicensed contractors may work for a while and then leave, but serious, licensed contractors want to increase their good reputation to attract more customers. Even if you have been in business just a few years, you can still collect recommendations to show a potential client that you would be a good hire for the job.
Are You Licensed as a Contractor in the State of Oregon?
Contractors know that this all-important question means the difference between getting a job and not being hired. Oregon, of course, requires licensing and relicensing every two years, along with continuing education courses to maintain an Oregon contractors license. Tell potential clients that they can check for themselves to ensure that your license is current and valid by going to the CCB website and just entering the name. Always have your CCB license number printed on your business card to make it easy.
Do You Have a Portfolio?
A good contractor knows that having a portfolio with photos of jobs that he or she has completed is one of the best ways to sell oneself. Include street addresses so the interested party can drive by to see the properties in person. A list of references should be included, so the client can check on how satisfied former clients were with the work.
Who Will Be in Charge of the Construction?
In some cases, you may be supervising the work yourself. In others, you may be using a foreman to oversee the daily work. If using a foreman, make sure to introduce him or her to the new client.
Do You Carry Insurance in Case Something Gets Broken?
Explain that in Oregon, contractors are required to have a surety bond and carry liability insurance. The liability insurance carries coverage against any kind of damage to the property and also covers personal injuries. A surety bond, of course, protects the consumer in the event the contractor does not pay his bills.
Do You Know How Long It Will Take to Complete the Job?
Completion of a project depends on a number of factors, including the number of workers, weather conditions and availability of materials. However, most contractors can give a client a fairly good idea of how long a project will take when things go smoothly.
One way to prepare to answer questions by potential clients and raise your expertise at the same time is through the mandatory study hours required for continuing education to renew your Oregon contractors license. However, there are ways to take these education courses conveniently and during your free time.
PDH Contractor Academy lets you study through our online courses that complete your requirements, except for the mandatory CCB course on rules and law. We offer your choice of correspondence courses using booklets or online courses that you can access through your computer, tablet or smartphone to study at your own pace. Online and email support are available, and we are preapproved by the Oregon CCB. To learn about continuing education PDH Contractor Academy offers in other states, as well as Oregon, browse courses by state.