Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

For most of us, our home is our most important investment. When making home improvements, protect the safety and value of your home and family by getting the necessary permits and using licensed contractors and craftsmen.

How do permits protect the safety and value of my home?
Permits ensure that a certified inspector inspects the construction project or installation. Inspections help make sure work is done safely and to code. When an inspector approves work, you can ask questions from an expert and know that the work has been checked for safety violations. This is of particular value to the do-it-yourselfer who doesn't make installations every day. Incorrect installations can result in house fires, flood damage, and/or structural problems.

Permits are designed to help ensure that licensed contractors do the work if the homeowner doesn't handle the job. Only Construction Contractors Board (CCB) licensed contractors, and those who carry a trade license, such as plumbers and electricians, are allowed to legally work in Oregon. State and local building departments issue permits only to contractors who are properly licensed and bonded.

What about value? Getting a permit can save you money.
Inspections help ensure that work meets the building code. Inspections not only reveal minor problems that could lead to costly repairs, but also liability and life-safety concerns such as structural weaknesses, dangerous wiring, or defective plumbing.

When it comes to selling a house, realtors and lenders may require that any construction work be done with permits to ensure that the house is safe for future occupants. If work is not permitted, instead of closing on your home, you'll have to scramble to catch up with permits and inspections and additional repair work if the installations weren't made to code.

Here's what homeowners can do to protect themselves:
Insist on permits. It doesn't pay to cut corners when it comes to your biggest financial asset -- your home.

Check a contractor's CCB license to ensure that a contractor is legally licensed and bonded to work in Oregon. Beware of a contractor willing to work without permits.

Use or insist that the contractor use only licensed plumbers and electricians . Along with homeowners working on their own homes, only licensed plumbers and electricians are legally allowed to do plumbing or electrical work in Oregon. Professional licenses reflect four years of intense training and annual continuing education and ensure that contractors are qualified to do the work.

How do I get a permit?
When you use a licensed contractor, the contractor will get the necessary permits. Always request and retain copies for your records.

If you are doing the work yourself, you can call (503) 338-3697, or visit us at 800 Exchange Street, Suite 100, Astoria, Oregon. Getting a permit is often as easy as filling out the application and paying the fee.

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