About Construction Projects in Washington, DC
Washington, DC, is the capital of the United States and, to remain neutral, is not a part of any other state. Local leadership governs most of the affairs of the city. If you’re considering a construction job in DC, here are some things that you need to know about working here.
The simplicity of the building permit process depends solely on the complexity of what you need to accomplish. If the job is simple, the permit process is simple. If it’s complex, the process will involve multiple steps, which may include having review agencies examine the application outside of the city’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.
You can access the Online Construction Permit Intake portal through DC’s website. Here you can request any type of permit except for Raze Permits, which you must request in person. Part of the application includes submitting supporting documents if any are required. At the end of the process, you’ll pay permit fees online using a credit card.
The city provides an automated phone system that you can call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to schedule inspections. The phone number is 202-442-9557. Using this phone number, you can schedule an inspection for the next day and up to five business days in advance.
You can also call the number to get the results of your inspection. The phone line has the results within 48 hours of a completed inspection.
When you call to schedule an inspection, you’ll need the following information:
- Permit number. When you enter the permit number into the phone system, omit the letter at the beginning and any leading zeros.
- Building address for the job.
- Three-digit inspection code. There’s a full list of the codes on the city’s website.
In this city, general contractors do not need a license. However, they do need to confirm that all their subcontractors, such as plumbers and electricians, have the proper license to work in DC. Though they don’t need a contractor license, they do need a business license. There are five types of business licenses:
- Class A: No limitations on value.
- Class B: The value of construction projects cannot exceed $10 million.
- Class C: The value of construction projects cannot exceed $5 million.
- Class D: The value of construction projects cannot exceed $2 million.
- Class E: The value of construction projects cannot exceed $500,000.
Contractor Liability Coverage
To get your business license, you need to provide the city with proof that you have general liability insurance. The value of the coverage depends on the class of business license you have. The amount ranges from $500,000 for Class E to $2.5 million for Class A. It must cover both injury and property damage.
Getting the Right Equipment for Your Job
While in Washington, DC, you can rent any construction equipment you need, even large equipment like boom lifts. You can also rent scissor lifts, manlifts, and forklifts or other types of construction equipment like trenchers and excavators. Once you order them, they’re delivered right to your work site.
There’s a lot to prepare for as you get ready to work in DC. The more prep work you do ahead of time, the smoother the job can go.