Oregon Task Force Aims to Improve Construction Environment

January 19, 2007

Oregon’s Construction Claims Task Force has released a report noting 11 recommendations to help protect homeowners from construction defects and ensure affordable liability insurance for contractors.

Highlights of the recommendations include:
-Changing building code requirements to prevent moisture intrusion;
-Strengthening the state Construction Contractors Board’s enforcement to address defective construction;
-Establishing a limited consumer assistance fund to provide relief to consumers;
-Streamlining rate filing requirements for contractor group general liability insurance policies; and
-Encouraging construction insurance carriers to provide discounts for contractors who adopt the task force’s recommendations and who perform other best practices.

“Input from the public contributed greatly to the task force’s work,” said Cory Streisinger, director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services. “The task force heard from consumers who have experienced problems with home construction and from industry experts, which was key in developing the 11 recommendations.”

After numerous meetings over a 16-month period, CCTF Chair Eric Grasberger, a Portland attorney representing consumers, is satisfied with the solutions recommended to help consumers, especially the
recommendation that would require competency training and certification for those who work on a building’s exterior envelope, such as siding, windows, doors, and roofs.

“A large number of consumer complaints stem from unskilled and unsupervised workmanship on the envelope,” he said. “Increased education and training requirements — with companies subject to licensing sanctions for noncompliance — should reduce the number of problems consumers face.”

He said the limited recovery fund also would be good for consumers, alleviating “some of the sting” from construction defects caused by contractors who may not have the ability to pay for their mistakes.
“I’m very proud of the work performed by the task force members and staff who worked many hours,” said Craig Smith, administrator of the state’s Construction Contractors Board. “CCB is excited about these task force recommendations, which, in total, will provide enhanced protections for consumers and improvements to tools used by the agency to hold contractors accountable for their business practices.”

CCTF is composed of nine members who represent the public, the
insurance and construction industries, and the Oregon Department of Energy, studied issues relating to home construction defects and construction insurance. Two state agencies, the Construction Contractors Board and the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Building Codes Division and Insurance Division
coordinated task force activities, and provided data and expertise. The task force was created by the 2005 Legislature.

The entire CCTF report, with an executive summary, recommendations plus data and analysis, is available at
the Building Codes Division’s Web site at http://egov.oregon.gov/DCBS/CCTF/. Click on “Final Legislative Report.

Source: DCBS

Topics Training Development Oregon Construction Contractors

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