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Construction jobs in Berkeley, California, require planning to do them well. The planning starts with getting the needed permits and other paperwork in order before the job begins. Read on for essential information you need to know about completing your first Berkeley job.
You’ll need a building permit before constructing, erecting, repairing, moving, improving, enlarging, altering, improving, demolishing, or converting a structure or a building in Berkeley. Exemptions include painting, carpeting, counter tops, cabinets, swings and play equipment, plumbing to stop leaks, one-story structures that are no greater than 120 feet high, and fences not more than 7 feet high. This is not the whole list, of course. See the city website for the full list.
You can submit building permit applications online through the City of Berkeley website. Just provide PDFs of the applications and plans — keep the files under 100 MB in size. You can use this same online portal to review the status of the permit. Some applications require detailed plans for the city to approve them. If you’re unsure about what information you need to include in an application, find out by calling the Permit Service Center.
Once you’ve finished a project, it’s time to plan an inspection. You can do this on the same online portal where you submitted your permit request. If you have any questions, call Building and Safety to get answers. You can find a link to the scheduled inspections for that day on the same page as the permit search.
In California, all general contractors and specialty contractors must have a contractor license. The Contractors State License Board issues these licenses after contractors pass an examination for that area. General contractors are only licensed to oversee a project and are not allowed to do the actual specialty work unless certified in the given specialty. Specialty licenses include areas such as carpentry, drywall, fencing, framing, insulation, and concrete.
The state of California requires all builders to have general contractor liability coverage in case anything happens. It’s protection for you as much as it is for your client.
Before hiring a subcontractor to complete specialty work, confirm with all subcontractors that they have the proper insurance coverage as well. If something happens, you’ll both be at fault, so you want to be sure both of you will cover the costs of damages.
There are many perks to choosing to rent equipment rather than buying. You can rent any heavy equipment you have to use, including aerial equipment like boom lifts, scissor lifts, manlifts, and forklifts.
As is the case with everything in life, the more you prepare for a situation or project, the better the result. From permits to inspections to insurance, getting things in order makes you more likely to succeed with your next project.