When written contracts are required
- All contracts on a residential structure that exceed $2,000 must be written.
- If the original contract price is less than $2,000 but the price goes up during the project and eventually exceeds $2,000, you must provide the owner a written contract within five days. (ORS 701.305)
- If you do not have a written contract as required, you cannot claim a lien. (ORS 87.037)
Put all contracts in writing
A well-written contract helps avoid homeowner complaints. It protects both you and the consumer by specifying what has been agreed to.
If you work on residential properties, you must include the following in your written contract:
- Your name, address, phone number, and CCB license number (as shown on CCB records)
- The customer’s name and address where the work will be performed
- A description of the work to be performed, the price, and the payment terms
- The property owner’s rights under the contract, including the ability to file a complaint with the Construction Contractors Board
- The existence of any mediation and arbitration provision
If building a new home, you must provide the owner or first purchaser with:
Tools to help you comply
Required notices for residential construction
If you work on residences, you must provide the following consumer notices and retain proof of the property owner’s receipt when the total contract exceeds $2,000.
Retain proof of the property owner’s receipt of the notices by:
- Including the notices fully within the written contract.
- Getting and keeping signed copies of the notices.
- Providing the property owner with the notices, and include in the written contract an unambiguous phrase that acknowledges receipt of the notices with the property owner’s initials.
You must keep proof that you delivered any required notices for two years after the contract is entered into.
Homeowners’ right to cancel
One-day right to cancel
A property owner can cancel any initial contract for construction, improvement, or repair of a residential structure by giving the contractor a written notice of cancellation prior to midnight of the next business day. Some exceptions apply such as work already substantially begun.
The contractor does not have any notice requirements. (ORS 701.310.)
Three-day right to cancel
Buyers have a three-day right to cancel a home solicitation contract when the contract is solicited at any place that is not the seller’s permanent place of business.
A construction contract is subject to this law if there is a personal solicitation made by the contractor or the contractor’s agent and the contractor’s offer is accepted anywhere other than the contractor’s permanent place of business. For example, you meet with a contractor in a restaurant. This applies to contracts for remodeling or repairs, not construction of a new house.
Regardless of who initiates the contact, the property owner must be given notice of his or her right to rescind the contract. (ORS 83.720.)