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About Construction Projects in Iowa

Browse our Iowa heavy equipment rental locations by city. BigRentz offers a wide variety of heavy equipment for rent, including earth moving machines, aerial equipment, lift trucks, compaction equipment, and job site services.

What You Need To Know

Every state has its own rules and regulations for building structures. Iowa is no exception. According to the State of Iowa, anyone who offers labor and materials to build a structure is a construction contractor for that job, even if the individual’s usual occupation doesn’t involve construction.

As a contractor, you’re responsible for licensing, registrations, and taxes. The rules vary from city to county, so make sure you check with the clerk in the building code department to get the requirements for your area. Learn about three factors to consider when building in Iowa.

Licensing, Certification, and Bonding

Iowa requires any contractor doing construction work to register and pay a $50 fee. Since the state defines a contractor as anyone doing work on a project, you must pay the fee and complete the registration forms.

Building codes and fees for permits vary by county or city, so make sure you contact the local officials where you plan to build. Iowa has a Construction Permits Section Office that’s responsible for reviewing and approving all construction plans. The only counties exempt from going through the state office are Linn and Polk counties which have their own permit offices.

If building a large or complex project, Iowa officials strongly recommend a pre-application meeting to review plans and other information to make sure your project meets the standards put forth in the law. Additionally, all construction contractors must register with the Iowa Division of Labor annually to work in the state.

Contractors with a principal place of business outside the state of Iowa must file a $25,000 bond before registering. Branch offices do not qualify as a principal place of business. The bond guarantees you will pay all taxes, penalties, and monies due to the state of Iowa, but it does not cover any other debts.

Foundation Problems and Soil Types

Like most states, soil varies from place to place. Clay and peat soils found in Iowa can cause problems with foundations. These types of soils are found near waterways and in low-lying areas that get large amounts of moisture.

To build on these spots, you’ll need to raise the soil level by adding compacted fill. Be careful because adding fill will also increase the load on the land and cause settling of a building’s foundation. The type of soil at your site will decide how deep the foundation must go for stability. You may need a push pier or helical foundation for stability.

The Right Equipment

You’ve established the site, and preliminary findings are in. It’s time to choose the equipment to complete the job. Many contractors prefer to rent heavy equipment from companies such as BigRentz since the machinery gets used only briefly. Look into renting, rather than purchasing, forklifts, manlifts, scissor lifts, and boom lifts to help lower your overall cost for the job.

Remember, construction is not a job for amateurs. You must follow rules that cover liabilities, local codes, environmental restrictions, and taxes. As a professional, you’ll need to understand regulations and have the knowledge and experience to complete a job the proper way.

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