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As housing prices continue to increase across Indiana, being a contractor is better than ever. South Bend, in particular, is experiencing a housing boom. The city has had a three-year appreciation rate of 17.8 percent. Before you can start making money as a contractor, you’ll need to learn about this city’s requirements.
Most projects in South Bend need a building permit. All new houses and additions must have a permit. Also, garages or shed over 120 square feet need a permit.
There are different forms for commercial, residential, and mechanical projects. No matter the project, you should submit all applications to the city’s Building Department for review. Contact them at 574-235-9554 if you have questions.
Commercial projects may need a State Plan Review before being approved. You’ll need to include several documents for this, such as:
There is a City Plan Review every Thursday morning and a County Plan Review every Wednesday morning. As long as there aren’t a lot of applicants, your plan should be reviewed in a week.
While the city of South Bend manages its permits, it follows the St. Joseph County fee schedule. The minimum fee for any permit is $40. Most fees are calculated by multiplying the total square foot by the cost per square foot by the local variable factor. In 2017, this factor is $.00098. For example, a project valued between $99,001 to $100,000 would have a permit fee of $320.
There are often other fees involved in the permitting process, such as inspection fees or moving permit fees, so always check with the Building Department before calculating costs.
While Indiana doesn’t have any state contractor requirements, there is a $30 fee for registering a business name. You can do this with the secretary of state’s official website.
The city of South Bend does have contractor requirements. All contractors must have a $5,000 bond for one year that’s made out to the City of South Bend and St. Joseph County. They must also pay a $125 registration fee. The general contractor license covers some different fields, including general remodelers, trim contractors, fire protection sprinkler contractions, water softener contractors, and more.
Believe it or not, South Bend and the state of Indiana do not have any minimum liability coverage requirements. However, the city does require worker’s compensation insurance if you have employees.
After permitting and licensing, the final step in being a South Bend contractor is renting the right equipment. With a rich and fertile soil with the flat terrain, South Bend is a good place to use aerial tools like forklifts, manlifts, scissor lifts, and boom lifts to help the job go faster.
Now that you know about licensing, permitting, and equipment, you’ll be able to build a successful life as a South Bend contractor.