About Construction Projects in Allentown, PA
When you have a building project in Allentown, Pennsylvania, you first need to get zoning and permit applications. When you apply for these permits, you will need to send in the plans for your job first.
Before you apply for any building permits, check to see if Allentown requires you to have a zoning permit. If you’re doing the following type of work, you will need a zoning permit:
- New buildings that are taller than 3 feet including sheds, decks, buildings, garages, above ground pools, additions, and porches
- Parking lots, billboards, signs, and banners
You need commercial building permits under the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code for these building projects:
- Any new building that doesn’t count as a one- or two-family dwelling. Townhouses need pre-approval
- An addition that adds floor area or height to an existing structure
- Alterations, like renovations, to existing structures
- Repairs, like reconstructions or renewals, to a building. If you need an emergency repair, you can have the work done first and apply for the permit after. You have three business days after the repair to send in an application
- If you’re changing what the use, a.k.a. “occupancy,” of a building is for
You need residential building permits for these building projects:
- New constructions of one- or two-family homes
- New constructions of townhouses that are three stories or under
- Additions that add floor area or height
- New constructions or renovations to a home that don’t count as repairs or additions
- When you add units to property, or you change the purpose from residential usage
When you apply for building permits in Allentown, you need to send two sets of plans with your permit application.
Your Allentown building project will require at least one of several general permits in addition to your building and zoning permits:
- Health/food establishment permit
- Fire permit
- Engineering Permit
Allentown requires licensed contractors to do specific work on building sites including:
- Electrical work
- Sheet metal
The State of Pennsylvania is a resource for checking the HIC number of contractors you hire.
When doing residential or commercial work, you do need liability coverage for your company.
Builders’ risk insurance is a type of insurance that protects a building if any damage happens during construction work. Lots of contractors like to have this kind of insurance. It protects them from having to pay for any accidental and unexpected damage that happens during the job. Homeowners and commercial building owners sometimes buy the insurance, too. But, it doesn’t cover tools, natural disasters, and other unforeseen events, so it’s best to get it yourself.
Other kinds of insurance licensed contractors should use include: workers’ comp and general contracting insurance, to help fill the gaps that builders’ risk insurance leaves.
When on a building job in Allentown, be sure to also use the best aerial equipment for the job. Scissor lifts, boom lifts, man lifts, and forklifts are all important to make sure that your job is done safely and quickly. With your permits, licensing, liability coverage, and equipment needs to be taken care of, you’re ready to build.