Like most cities, Clearwater has regulations to follow when it comes to construction projects. To make sure you’re doing everything right, you should do some research. Check out this handy list of tips about building permits, contractor licensing, and permit fees that can help you get started on your next project.
In most cases, you can’t just gather your equipment and start building. Clearwater is pretty strict about its permit requirements. You’ll need a permit if you plan to do any of the following to a building or structure:
You’ll also need a permit if you plan on working on plumbing, electrical, mechanical, or gas systems that are regulated by Florida Building Code.
Fortunately, though, not everything needs a permit. You can work on smaller interior projects like painting, installing new flooring, replacing kitchen and bathroom cabinets, or repairing minor roof leaks without involving the city.
If you do need a permit, you’ll have to fill out a permit application. This application will include more detailed information about your building plans. In some cases, you’ll be granted a “walk through” permit. For this type of permit, an official inspects the building area and gives you the go-ahead right on the spot. This is a good option for re-roofing, changing AC units, minor interior remodeling, and fencing.
However, in most cases, you’ll need to file paperwork with the Development Service Center. It will review your plan in four to 12 days. Before the city approves you for any permit with a job value of over $2,500, you’ll need to fill out a notice of commencement at the Pinellas County Courthouse. You’ll also need to pay an application fee, which will vary depending on the type of permit. For example, permits for construction at multi-family or commercial structures less than $100,000 will cost $44.
If you need to make an appeal to the construction/flood board of adjustment and appeals, you’ll have to pay a $130 fee.
Just getting a permit isn’t enough. You’ll also have to meet strict contractor licensing requirements before you can legally perform any work for customers. Clearwater requires all contractors to be licensed by the state as well as the Pinellas Country Construction Licensing Board. To be a licensed contractor in Florida, you’ll need to pay a license renewal fee of $209 every two years.
You’ll also need to provide your local business tax receipt as well as a notarized letter of authorization that lists the people you trust to obtain permits under your license number.
Because costs for a permit and licensing fees in Clearwater can add up, you can save some money by renting aerial equipment. Tools such as boom lifts, scissor lifts, forklifts, and manlifts are often very expensive. Renting lets, you keep cash on hand for your business. This way, you’ll be able to run a successful business that follows all of Clearwater’s guidelines.