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In Los Angeles, construction jobs have grown nearly five percent from 2016 to 2017. In early 2017, the city had more construction projects than it had seen since the 1920s. If you’re planning to build in LA, you’re not alone. Growth is booming, so make sure you’re prepared to join the fray. Research your project carefully and get your permits early.
In Los Angeles, California, you need a building permit for most construction and repair projects. For major projects, you must draft a plan, because plan review is part of the approval process. You can get an express permit for projects that don’t need a plan. This includes some kitchen remodels, window replacements, and re-roofing.
You can apply for your building permit online. The City of Los Angeles has a portal for permits on its web page. You can also check the status of your permit there.
You must schedule an inspection before you cover any part of your project. Common inspections you may need include your:
You also need a final inspection. Request each inspection online or by phone at (213) 473-3231. You must have your permit, plans, and building card on-site. Regular inspection requests are free, but there is an extra fee for off-hour inspections.
All contractors need a license to get a building permit. To get your contractor license, you must pass two exams. These cover your trade and general law and business. Contractors need to pass an FBI background check and get bonded as well. Bonds are not the same as insurance. They protect against code violations and poor work.
Owners/builders can also apply for building permits. They may be exempt from licensing if the project costs less than $500. However, most California contractors should plan to get licensed.
Contractors with employees must have workers compensation coverage. Law in Los Angeles does not require liability coverage. However, most people will only hire an insured contractor. Commercial general liability insurance covers damage to the property. Most companies opt for $500,000 to $1 million in coverage. This helps protect the client and the work.
Decide what equipment you need when you draft your plan. Having the best tools is important. Even common items like dumpsters, manlifts vary from one to another. Scissor lifts only move vertically and have a short reach. They’re cheaper but very limited. A boom lift has more movement. This lift can often reach over 130 feet. The width, height, and weight of your loads will help you choose a forklift.
If you don’t own the right equipment, consider renting. Equipment and dumpster rentals are convenient and affordable. This gives you short-term access to the best equipment. You can choose just what you need for each phase of the project.
Smart planning is important in the bustling city of Los Angeles. Your construction project is far from being the only one going on at any given time. Get your paperwork early to make sure you finish on time.