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About Construction Projects in Alabama

Browse our Alabama heavy equipment rental locations by city. BigRentz offers a wide variety of heavy equipment for rent, including earth moving machines, aerial equipment, lift trucks, compaction equipment, and job site services.

What You Need To Know

Construction is at the heart of Alabama’s economy. You can support this key industry by starting a new building project in America’s beautiful South.

Building Permits in Alabama

Most building projects, including new construction and remodeling jobs, require a building permit. The type of permit you’ll need will depend on the work you plan to do. Building permits are usually issued by the city where you’re building; however, if you’re building in an unincorporated area, the county will issue your permit. Apply for your building permit through the relevant city or county department.

Soil Types in Alabama

Alabama has a number of different soil types that pose unique challenges to builders.

As its name suggests, the soils of the Limestone Valley and Uplands mostly come from cherty limestones. They are quite gravelly from the subsoil to the surface layer.

There are a variety of soil types in the Appalachian Plateau that derive from sandstone and shale. In the level areas, the subsoil is loamy with a sandy surface layer. In the more rugged parts, the subsoil has a clay-like consistency, and the surface layer has a silt loam.

On the Piedmont Plateau, soils come from granite, hornblende, and mica schists. The subsoil is clay-like while the surface layer can have clay loam or sandy loam.

Marine and fluvial sediments influenced the soils of the coastal plains and the dark soils of the Blackland Prairie give this area its name. Some parts are very acidic while others have alkaline soil. There isn’t much soil around the major flood plains, coastal marshes, and beaches of Alabama.

Soil type will greatly affect the type of equipment you need to rent, including aerial equipment like scissor lifts, manlifts, forklifts, and boom lifts.

The Right Equipment for the Job

Builders in Alabama must consider their construction equipment carefully to work with the site’s soil. For example, there is a range of soil compactors that prepare the ground for holding up slabs, footings, and foundations. Each type of soil compactor works best on a different type of soil.

Smooth drum vibratory compactors are ideal for granular materials like the soils of the Limestone Valley and Uplands. Sheepsfoot compactors fluff out the top layer of soil, so they help aerate and dry out the wet clays and silts found in places like the Appalachian Plateau. Pneumatic Compactors are more versatile, working on both soil and asphalt, so they will suit building in Alabama’s urban areas.

Building Licenses in Alabama

The Alabama Licensing Board for General Contractors issues licenses to all builders undertaking general construction work in the state. Prime contractor and subcontractor applications can be downloaded via the Alabama Licensing Board for General Contractors website.

Subcontractors must submit a completed application form and pay a $150 fee. Prime contractors must submit a completed application form and pay a $300 fee. In addition, they must submit a confidential financial statement booklet completed by a certified public accountant. Prime contractors must also pass a business and law exam. Prime contractor applications must be on file 30 days before a quarterly board meeting, where each application is assessed.

Alabama is a great state for construction, but it’s important to be prepared. Do your research before starting your Alabama building project in order to help it succeed.

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