About Construction Projects in Winston Salem, NC
Contractors hate surprises. They want all their jobs to go smoothly from start to finish. Having your paperwork in order helps that along. Before starting a building project in Winston-Salem, make sure you know what paperwork is required.
For details on permits, go to the City of Winston-Salem website and search for “Requirements and Regulations.” Here you will find a detailed listing of what you will need to do. If you are a certified mechanical, electrical, plumbing, or refrigeration contractor, you can use the BuildIT app. This app is not available to general contractors.
Applying in person can be your best option. Visit City Hall at 101 N. Main St. The Permit Office is open from 7:45 am to 4:45 pm. But after 4:15, no new customers are admitted. Call 311 or 336-727-8000 for information.
Be ready with a workers’ compensation affidavit, two copies of the site plan, and one copy of the construction drawings. The more specific your plans, the better. Include the following details:
- Site plan with scaled drawings, lot dimensions, building footprint, and easements.
- Cross-section drawings with measurements for the footings, slab, foundation wall, drainage, insulation, floor and ceiling joints, and rafters.
- Foundation plans with pier and post placement, girders, floor joists, load-bearing walls, beams, ventilation, fireplaces, and chimneys.
- Individual floor plans with labels for each room, dimensions, exits, stairways, load-bearing walls, headers, girders, and beams.
- Framing plans with sizes, composition, span, and direction of rafters, trusses, cantilevers, joists, and girders. Include the chimney height and roof pitch.
Winston-Salem has detailed requirements for building decks. This information is available online.
When the work is done, call 336-727-2624 to request an inspection. If your project involves electrical, plumbing, and heating, each aspect will need to be inspected. You can track the status of an inspection online.
North Carolina requires that it has to be a licensed general contractor working on any project worth $30,000 or more. The North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors grants these licenses. Applicants must pass a written test, pay a fee, and show the financial ability to work as a contractor.
Never start a job without general liability insurance. North Carolina does not require you to have it, but it is still a good idea. Small businesses should have between $500,000 and $1 million in coverage. But, those in the building trades should get more coverage to cover their bases.
As for workers’ comp, you need it if you employ three or more people. These employees can be full-time or part-time. And, if you drive a car or truck for your work, you should get a commercial vehicle policy on your auto insurance.
Don’t work off the ground with poor equipment. Don’t use a ladder to do the job of an aerial lift. Rent a boom lift, scissor lift, manlift, or forklift to work safely with heights.
Also, keep an eye on Winston-Salem’s unpredictable weather. Sudden rainfall can cause slippery soil, flooding, and erosion. Lightning puts your workers at risk, particularly when operating aerial lifts.
Take the time to get the proper permits, insurance, and equipment for every project before you start. It will save you from headaches later.