About Construction Projects in Salem, OR
Salem is in the middle of an employment boom. The city has recently created more jobs than at any time in the last 25 years. During this strong economic growth, builders familiar with the city’s needs should have many new opportunities.
Get a residential or commercial building permit from the City of Salem before starting your building project. Download the application form from the city’s website. Submit the form with your plans and other supporting documents via mail, e-mail, or in person. The Permit Application Center opens weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for permit processing.
Necessary Building Licenses
You must be licensed with Oregon’s Construction Contractors Board (CCB). Do the following before you apply:
- Complete 16 hours of law and business training from an approved provider. If you’ve passed the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies (NASCLA) exam, you can skip this training
- Pass the Oregon contractors exam. This is required even if you’ve already passed the NASCLA exam
- File your business name with the Oregon Secretary of State
- Submit a CCB surety bond
- Provide proof of general liability insurance. The CCB should be the certificate holder
- Get worker’s compensation insurance if you’re hiring other employees
- Get other worker’s account numbers, including state and federal tax numbers
Then you can apply for a CCB license using the form on the website. The CCB issues residential, commercial, and dual licenses. Include your bond, insurance certificate, and credit card details or check as payment. CCB licenses are valid for two years.
You also need a building license from Oregon’s Building Codes Division. Download and complete the contractor/business license application form from the State of Oregon website. Mail or fax it with your supporting documents to the Building Codes Division.
General liability insurance is a must for any builder working in Salem. You can’t get your building license without it. This coverage protects you from most claims you might face, including site accidents. Workers compensation is also vital if you employ other builders.
Tools or equipment costing $500 or less are covered under your general liability policy. If you work with more expensive things, consider getting an equipment insurance policy.
If the property you’re working on is damaged, by vandals or natural disasters, you’ll want builders risk insurance. You also can’t get financing without this type of cover.
Best Equipment to Use
Built in the Cascade Mountains, Salem has many sloped blocks. Plots of land in South and West Salem are very hilly. Consider your site’s slope when hiring equipment.
A boom lift with additional outreach can handle a sloping block. Look for manlifts and scissor lifts with higher gradability for sloping sites. Forklifts can also manage sloping blocks if you drive them right. Always drive your forklift up the slope with the load facing uphill.
Plan carefully to make the most of Salem’s growth. With the right permits, licenses, insurance, and equipment, you can take advantage of building opportunities in Salem.