About Construction Projects in El Cajon, CA
Considering working as a contractor in California? It would be an excellent choice. In 2014, there were 10,791 building permits issued for housing units in San Diego. There were also 6,300 new construction jobs in 2016. By working as a contractor in nearby El Cajon, you’ll be able to expand your business.
Applying for a Building Permit
Most projects in El Cajon require a building permit.
For simple projects, like installing a new water heater or air conditioner, you can get an over-the-counter permit. This doesn’t require you to have a detailed plan. These permits are usually issued in under two hours.
The city only offers this services on Wednesdays, so it’s important to make an appointment. Just call the Building and Fire Safety Division at 619-441-1726 with details on the project.
For bigger projects, you’ll need to submit an application. This can be done online if you have all the files in PDF format. The application should include:
- A description of the job
- Four copies of the building plans
- Engineering calculations
- Soil reports
- Truss calculations
- Energy efficiency documentation
- Green building compliance documentation
Specific projects, like re-roofing, upgrading meters, or installing HVAC systems, require separate forms. These can all be found on the city’s website.
After you apply, the Planning Division makes sure your project is zoned properly. The Private Development Division makes sure you’ve met public street and sewer guidelines. The Fire Department reviews required sprinklers and alarm systems.
If you need corrections, the city will call to let you know. Finally, the Building and Fire Safety Division makes a final review and issues the permit. In most cases, the process takes three weeks from start to finish.
El Cajon does not have a particular licensing system for contractors. Instead, the city relies on the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) to manage contractor licensing.
To get a license from the CSLB, you’ll need to take an exam and have four years of experience. Licenses last for two years. If you renew on time, you’ll have to pay $360. Late renewal costs $540.
You’ll also need an El Cajon business license. If you’re working inside city limits, this costs $40 plus $3 for each employee. Those outside city limits pay a $60 fee and $6 per employee.
There is no liability insurance requirement for contractors in El Cajon. However, they must have a surety bond of $15,000. This protects the consumer in case of damages.
Workers’ compensation insurance is also required. In the event of an accident, your employees and the property you’re constructing are covered.
Renting Aerial Equipment
After getting your permits and licenses, consider renting aerial equipment. Devices like boom lifts, scissor lifts, forklifts, and manlifts help you work safer. You’ll stick to your timeline and give your client great results. Your permits cover the use of this equipment.
Now that you better understand the building rules of El Cajon, you can take on new projects. As long as you follow all guidelines, you’re bound to be successful.