Once you get ready to build a home, there are several things you must do before construction can begin. Building permits, licenses, and liability insurance are key, and these documents vary from state to state. In many places, the city or county sets the regulations. Before traveling to a new area, make sure you have the items you need to start construction.
In Hillsboro, Oregon, the city issues the building permits. Any new home construction needs a Sensitive Area Pre-Screen. This step verifies there is a clean water service available for the home. Next, the design goes to the Planning Department. Include the property address and three copies of the plans. Do not submit incomplete forms or it will delay the process.
Permit costs vary depending on the type of work you do. Electrical, plumbing, and mechanical permits start at $64.90. An additional 12 percent surcharge is necessary, and that fee goes to the state. If your project needs further review, expect to pay an extra 25 percent charge.
Anyone working on a construction project in Oregon needs a license. Officials believe trade licensing protects the consumer from shoddy work and overcharges. To receive a license, you must submit an application, a surety bond, a liability insurance certificate, and a $325 fee to the Oregon Licensing Board. Licenses are good for two years. The amount of the surety bond depends on your type of contractor’s license.
All contractors must have proof of general liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. The general liability policy covers property damage or personal injury loss caused by the contractor. For example, under general liability, you have coverage if a ladder falls and breaks a window. Make sure your insurance policy is in effect for the entire construction period. Otherwise, your contractor’s license could be void, and a fine levied. Residential general contractors must carry at least a $500,000 liability policy.
Also, the certificate must offer a statement including products and completed operations coverage. You must send the original policy or certificate, as copies are not accepted. Check to make sure the insurance carrier is in the State of Oregon Insurance Board list. You have to meet the insurance requirements before you can receive a license or permit.
All equipment used during construction must have insurance coverage. If you prefer to rent your heavy equipment, such as boom lifts, scissor lifts, forklifts, and manlifts, you still need to have a policy in place. BigRentz equipment dealerships will allow a damage waiver instead of an insurance policy but remember you’ll be responsible for any costs needed to repair damaged equipment.
All states set their requirements for construction permits and licenses. Be sure to check with the local city or county building officials too, because most of the time the building codes are part of the local ordinances. Making sure all your insurance limits and coverages are correct will help save time and money when you apply for the building permit. It’s part of the contractor’s responsibilities to get the proper documentation.