Good facilities, a caring work culture, and a high quality of life have helped Lafayette grow. Rapid growth supports the local building sector in the Hub City. Builders in Lafayette must follow local laws and requirements for building projects.
A building inspector from the Lafayette Planning, Zoning, and Development department assesses residential plans. Site plans should be scaled on 8.5-inch x 11-inch paper. See the building inspector between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays, or mail your plans and a completed Residential Permit Application to the department. You can also email a PDF copy of the plan and the application form to etrakit@LafayetteLA.gov.
To get a commercial permit, complete and submit the Application for Commercial Plan Review in person or by mail. You should also submit three sets of hard-copy plans and a compact disc with plans. Include the following plan types:
Once your plans and application are approved, you can purchase the right building permit.
Residential and commercial builders that are working on projects worth $50,000 or more need a building license from the State of Louisiana. Download the application form from the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors. Send it to the board with supporting documents:
You must also pass the Business and Law exam and the related Trade exam.
Your first license is valid for one year. You can renew online and get a one, two, or three-year license. You must complete six hours of education every year to keep your license.
You’ll need a contractor insurance policy to build in Lafayette. This protects you from damages or injuries that come from your work. Contractor insurance policies vary. They usually include:
Be honest about all your building tasks. A different contractor classification might be cheaper, but your insurer can cancel your insurance if you’re found out.
Builder’s risk insurance can also be valuable. This policy protects your materials and equipment used on the job. You can file claims in cases of fire, storms, vandalism, and theft.
Lafayette’s soil is mostly loess. This is a type of silty sediment left by the wind. It compacts easily, but drainage is poor in some places. That’s why you need to think carefully about renting construction equipment, especially after rain. After the rain, you’ll need a boom lift with a crawler undercarriage or four-wheel drivetrain. A raised working platform also helps when the ground is muddy.
Standard manlifts and scissor lifts usually work well in Lafayette. Be careful using them after rain though, as they like stable soil. Forklifts also struggle in slippery conditions, so use different lifts after rain.
With a good knowledge of local laws and equipment needs, builders in Lafayette can enjoy all the success the Heart of Cajun Country has to offer.