About Construction Projects in Columbia, MO
If you’re considering a construction job in Columbia, the county seat for Boone County, here are some things you should know.
You will need to get building permits from the City of Columbia to do one of the following:
- Build any commercial or industrial building or structure
- Build a structure larger than 160 square feet
- Work on a structure’s electrical, plumbing, heating, or insulation systems
- Remodel homes or erect additions
- Build fences taller than 12 feet or retaining walls taller than 4 feet
- Build greenhouses or swimming pools
When you apply for a building permit, make sure to get the right form. You’ll find multiple options on the Columbia website depending on whether it’s new construction or adding on to an existing construction, and whether it’s commercial or residential. You can download the forms, fill them out, and then turn them in, or you can go to the online portal and do everything online, including applying for new permits.
You have two options for scheduling an inspection. The first is to call the Building and Site Development inspection number. If you call by noon, it’s possible that the inspection could be done later that same day. If you call by 5 p.m., they will probably schedule the inspection for the next morning, but it could be later.
The second option is to schedule the inspection through the online portal. It’s possible to schedule for same-day appointments, depending on when you make the request.
There are specific things you need to do before the inspector arrives:
- Identify the site with an address
- Post the permit in plain view
- Make sure that the area to be inspected is easily accessible
- Complete the work that’s going to be inspected
If you fail to do all these things, the inspector will not be able to inspect the job, and you’ll have to pay a $35 failed inspection fee. A second failed inspection fee raises the charge to $75.
As a state, Missouri does not require that you have a license to be a contractor. Columbia, however, does require that some specialty contractors be licensed, including electricians. The city’s website can provide you with information on whether your particular profession requires a license through the city and how to apply.
Contractor Liability Coverage
All contractors need to have liability coverage for construction jobs in Columbia. It protects you and your client if something should go wrong. Also, contractors with one or more employees need to have proof of workers’ compensation insurance.
Construction Equipment Rental in Columbia, Missouri
If you need heavy equipment for your Columbia job, consider renting rather than buying. Whether it’s aerial equipment, like forklifts, boom lifts, manlifts, and scissor lifts, or specialty equipment like trenchers, renting is an economical way to get the equipment you need without a long-term investment.
If you’re unsure of any step in the process of getting a permit, having an inspection, or getting licensed, contact Columbia’s Building and Site Development Division. They’ll be able to answer your questions.