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General contractors, plumbers, electricians, and HVAC techs need many documents to work in Durham, North Carolina. Some of these you must have before you start working. Find out which ones you need, where to get them, and when to pick them up.
The City of Durham has strict rules for construction. These rules are to make sure the property is a safe place for people to live or work. If you don’t have a permit and get caught, you must pay a $500 fine. You also run the risk of the work site shutting down.
Before starting a construction project, you need a building permit. Putting on an addition as well as installing electric, HVAC, and plumbing systems are all permitted projects. You don’t need a permit for some jobs that cost more than $5,000 in a single-family home. These include replacing a door, adding insulation, or putting in hardwood floors. Check with the Inspection Department if you’re unsure.
Look through the list of permits, and choose the one you need. The cost depends on the type of construction done. You can apply online or in person. Permits expire six months after you get it unless you start work.
Before the construction project ends, you need an inspection. These inspections make sure you meet fire and safety codes. Fee costs depend upon the size of the building. The prices range from $45 to $300. Follow-up visits cost $65.
Afterward, inspectors send billing and inspection reports by email. If you don’t have email, you can ask for a paper copy. They also give a certificate of compliance if the site passes.
For construction projects worth more than $30,000, you need a general contractor license. Any HVAC, electrical, and plumbing projects also need one. There are three types of licenses:
To get a license, you need pre-approval from State Licensing Board. The board gives permission for you to sit for the exam, which costs $70. You have 180 minutes to answer 90 questions. You need to get 70 percent right to pass. All general contractor licenses expire on Dec. 31 each year. Renewal fees depend upon the type of license.
In addition to licenses, contractors must have liability coverage to work in North Carolina. These policies cover the property and contractor if ever there’s an accident. They also need workers’ compensation coverage, especially if subcontractors are on the job.
Contractors in the City of Durham need certain equipment to do tasks. To reach high spots, rent aerial equipment such as:
You never want to start a building project in Durham without having certain papers. This includes permits, inspections, licenses, and insurance. Get all your documents together right away. Then you can focus on your job.