Determining whether you need a building permit and/or a contractor’s license to buy and resell a property is a topic that isn’t entirely clear cut but very important to both the buyer and seller through both the purchase of the target property, the remodel and the resale to the new owner. IF YOU AREN’T SURE, CONTACT THE AGENCIES.
Building permits are city specific (PortlandOnline.com for Portland). Contractor’s licensing is overseen by the state (the Contractor’s Construction Board or CCB). This post will just focus on the CCB portion.
Straight off the CCB website:
Who Needs To Be Licensed
Oregon law requires anyone who works for compensation in any construction activity involving improvements to real property to be licensed with the Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB). This includes roofing, siding, painting, carpentry, concrete, on-site appliance repair, heating and air conditioning, home inspections, tree service, plumbing, electrical, floor covering, manufactured dwelling installations, land development and most other construction and repair services.
A CCB license is also required for:
those who purchase homes with the intent to fix them up and resell them, even if they do not perform the work themselves.
material suppliers that receive compensation for installing or arranging the installation of the materials.
Current law is pretty clear. Oregon House Bill will change that but you’ll have to wait (from OARO):
HB 2498B, introduced at the request of the Oregon Association of REALTORS®, has passed both the House of Representatives and Senate and now moves to the Governor for his signature. HB 2498B would amend the construction contractor licensing laws to allow property owners to hire licensed contractors to work on up to three existing homes, and then put those homes back on the market for sale. Current law requires owners who arrange for remodeling work to have their own contractor’s license unless they are living in the house. HB 2498B passed the House unanimously (47 – 0) in May, passed the Senate unanimously (29 – 0) on June 6 and re-passed the House (52 – 1) earlier today. The one Representative who voted “no” told the Association’s lobbyists that he had made a mistake and would seek permission to change his vote to “yes,” giving HB 2498B unanimous approval throughout the process.
This will exempt the guy with the deep pockets from needing a license but those planning on using sweat equity and getting hands on will still need to have a contractor’s license.