About Construction Projects in Portland, OR
To start a contracting business in Portland, you need to know about permits, licensing and inspections. If you’re a homeowner, you can get a permit for your own property. Otherwise, you need to be a contractor to get permits in Portland. General contractors who want to open up shop in Portland should get familiar with this information before taking on jobs.
Types of Permit
Two kinds of commercial permits are available in Portland. These are:
- New construction and additions
- Alterations and tenant improvements
You can get many kinds of residential permits, including:
- Accessory dwelling units
- Conversion to living space
- Dormer or second-floor additions
- Building footprint enlargement
- Accessory structures like garages and sheds
- Manufactured homes
- Retaining walls
- New single-family residences
- Seismic strengthening
- Solar electric or water heater
Depending on the kind of work you’re doing, you might need a:
- Building permit (either residential or commercial)
- Site development permit
- Zoning permit
- Plumbing permit
- Mechanical permit
- Electrical permit
Check permit guidelines before assuming you need a permit for specific work. For example, if you are building a garage for someone, you might only need a zoning permit. If the garage is under 10 feet high and has a square footage of less than 200 feet, you just need the zoning permit. But if the garage is larger than either of those sizes, you need a residential building permit.
Submitting Permit Applications
To get a permit in Portland, Oregon, you must bring your completed application in for review. Your permit will come with extra information, like the building plans. The extra is a little different for each kind of permit. You take this information to the city’s Development Services Center. You need to name the general contractor for the project when you send the permit applications.
As an example, let’s say you need to get a Commercial New Construction permit. For this, you need:
- Building permit application
- Four copies of your construction drawings
- The Life Safety Completeness Checklist
- The Shell Permit Acknowledgement Statement
- A commercial system development charge form
- Either a mitigation form or a stormwater plan
Licensing and Liability Coverage
To work as a general contractor in Portland, you need to meet the state licensing and liability requirements. In Portland, if you want to use the Permits Online system to buy permits, you have to have a CCB License. A CCB License is from the Oregon Construction Contractors Board. Plumbing and Electrical Trade Permits also need more licensing.
Homeowners can take out trade permits for their own properties. Usually getting a contractor for that kind of work is the best idea. A contractor can draw up plans. Contractors also can rent and use equipment like manlifts, forklifts, scissor lifts, and boom lifts.
Are you ready to start a contracting business in Portland? Get licensed and learn about the permit process. That knowledge will help you impress clients and get your permit applications together faster. Then, you’re all ready to start your contracting business and start bidding on jobs.