About Construction Projects in Simi Valley, CA
Working as a contractor in Simi Valley, California, has its own unique challenges. The state is strict when it comes to contractor licensing. In particular, Simi Valley also has its own regulations. To work on projects here, you’ll need to follow the rules for building permits, inspections, and license.
Times You Don’t Need a Building Permit
Most construction and remodeling projects require a building permit in Simi Valley. However, there are a few exceptions. These include:
- One story detached buildings less than 120 square feet, such as playhouses or sheds
- Fences less than 42″ tall in a front yard and 6′ tall in a back yard
- Retaining walls less than 4′ tall
- Sidewalks or driveways less than 30″ above grade
- Wallpapering, painting, or other finishing work
Keep in mind that even if you don’t need a permit, you still have to follow the City Planning Division’s requirements.
Times You Do Need a Building Permit
Still not sure if your project requires a permit or not? Some common projects that require a permit include:
- Installing new windows
- Installing a through-the-wall air conditioner
- Adding a masonry wall over 6′
- Remodeling a kitchen or bathroom
- Changing any mechanical, plumbing, or electrical fixtures
- Re-roofing an area bigger than 10 square feet
- Installing window security bars
To confirm for sure if you need a building permit, contact the Building and Safety Division to ask.
Applying for a Building Permit
The permit application process requires you to submit plans to the Building and Safety Division. These plans should be designed by a certified architect or engineer. All plans must include calculations, reports, or other code-compliant documents.
Some projects might even need an inspection. This is typically for bigger projects. You might need a foundation, concrete slab, roof and wall sheathing, frame, or insulation inspection. During the inspection, someone makes sure the work you’ve completed is up to code and safe.
Finally, all permit applications must be submitted by a licensed contractor. Becoming a licensed contractor in Simi Valley requires you to get a California license.
Becoming a Licensed Contractor
The Contractors State License Board manages general contractor licensing in California. To apply, you have to pay a $360 fee every two years. If you’re late, the fee is $540.
In addition to a licensing fee, you’ll need a surety bond and workers’ compensation insurance. The minimum bond amount is $15,000 and must be given to the CSLB within 90 days. Workers’ compensation insurance is to protect your employees if they’re injured on the job. The CSLB doesn’t require a minimum amount of insurance, but you must choose an insurance company that has a California Department of Insurance license.
After getting all your required permits and licenses, don’t forget to rent the aerial equipment you need for the job. Boom lifts, scissor lifts, forklifts, and manlifts all help work go faster and easier.
With this knowledge in your pocket, you’ll succeed as a contractor in Simi Valley.