Every city has its own building and construction laws. Cedar Rapids, Iowa is no different. Before you start working on a project of any size, get to know the local laws. Make sure you’re ready to follow them long before you start the job. Get the right permits and licenses ahead of time in order to avoid delays or fines. Here are a few tips to help you follow the building laws in Cedar Rapids.
The Development Services Zoning Department takes care of Cedar Rapids permits for new single-family homes and duplexes, signs, fences, and decks. You must contact the Building Services Department if you need a permit for a new commercial construction or remodel.
Read all the city codes before you apply for a permit. The city has very clear rules for standard building features. These cover:
You must know where to put living spaces, stairs, and garages.
You will need an inspection for all building permits in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. You must call to schedule your inspection for each permit. You need inspections at different stages of the job. The Building Services department can help you with this process.
If you want an electrical, plumbing, or mechanical permit in Cedar Rapids, you need a valid State of Iowa contractor’s license. The State of Iowa requires all contractors to register with the Iowa Division of Labor.
If you earn at least $2,000 each year from construction work, you are a professional contractor in Iowa. Professional contractors must register with the state. You need to renew this every year.
Most contractors pay a $50 fee to register. Some can do so for free. If you are self-employed and pay less than $2,000 a year to your workers, you don’t have to pay the fee.
In Iowa, registered contractors need a workers’ compensation certificate of insurance. The paper must list the Iowa Division of Labor as the certificate holder.
If you’re self-employed, you may use a Certificate of Relief issued by the Iowa Insurance Division instead.
Getting the right paperwork for Cedar Rapids projects is only the first step. You also need to find the right equipment for the job. You don’t need to invest in an expensive new piece of equipment to enjoy the benefits of professional tools. Consider using a rental for common tools. You can rent:
Rental equipment will help you keep costs low so you can do any size job. Use a short-term rental when you need an extra lift to finish the job. This choice is cheaper than buying.
Always take the time to get to know the local construction laws when you’re in a new city. Don’t assume it’s the same as in nearby areas. Make sure you comply with Cedar Rapids rules and get all the right licenses.