San Francisco is located in central California along the coast. The city also comprises the county, making it the smallest county in California. Here are the basics for building in San Francisco.
If you’re not sure whether the work you’re doing requires a permit, you can see a list of work that doesn’t require a permit in Section 106 of the San Francisco Building Code.
To begin, you’ll need plans and drawings of the work you plan to do if the job is extensive or complicated. You can get a building permit application from the San Francisco Permit Services on the first floor. Here, you can also ask for more information about the permit process and what you need to get your application approved.
You will need to hold a Pre-Application Meeting if you are building new construction or building above a certain height or length. Residential renovations may require a Neighborhood Notification that gives neighbors a chance to voice concerns.
You’ll need to schedule any inspection you need with the Building Inspection Division of the San Francisco city government. They’ll ensure that you followed state and city building codes. You’ll need several inspections throughout the process. There are two ways to schedule an inspection: online or by phone. There’s an automated phone line that you can call any time to schedule an inspection. The phone number is 415-575-6955.
In addition to calling, you can also schedule an inspection through the Building Inspection Web Scheduling online portal. To access the portal, you’ll need to complete a form online that certifies who you are and that you’re a contractor. Once the information you send is confirmed, DBI online services will send you a username and password. It may take up to a week to process your application.
To work as a general contractor or specialty contractor in California, you need a contractor license. If you don’t already have one, you can apply for one with the Contractors State License Board.
California does not require you to have general liability insurance for your business. However, you should note that courts can award any amount of money in liability lawsuits. Because of this, it’s in your best interest to have insurance just in case something happens. It will protect you and your company as well as your clients.
If you need any construction equipment for your job in San Francisco, consider renting it, whether you need forklifts or boom lifts. Or maybe you need manlifts or scissor lifts. Rent whatever type of equipment you are looking for to save money over moving or buying the equipment yourself.
Understanding all the requirements of working in San Francisco ahead of time will help smooth out the process when it comes time to start your project. The city’s codes are complex, so take the time read the information found on San Francisco’s website and call the Department of Building Inspection with any questions.