Pittsburgh is located on the western side of Pennsylvania and is the second-largest city in the state. Its nickname is Steel City because of the many steel businesses located here. Because of its placement next to three rivers, it’s also known as the City of Bridges. In total, there are 446 bridges in the city. If you’re planning a construction job in Pittsburgh, this guide will help get you started.
For residential and commercial permits, you have two steps to take. The first is a zoning review. Go to the Zoning Counter at 200 Ross Street to apply. The second is a review by the Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections. Complete a Building Permit Form. You can find a link to it on the Pittsburgh website. There are separate forms for commercial and residential permits. Any buildings other than single- or two-family dwellings are considered commercial.
You can find the name and phone number for your assigned inspector printed on your building permit. When you are ready for an inspection, you need to call your assigned inspector to schedule the inspection. Inspectors are in the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The rest of the day, they’re in the field.
Pennsylvania does not require you to have a license to act as a general contractor. You do need to apply to be a home improvement contractor if you plan on working on residential homes. To do so, go to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s website, fill out an online application, and submit it along with the application fee.
All commercial general contractors need a Pittsburgh General Contractor’s License, though the state doesn’t require it. You can find the license application on the city’s website. Print out the application, fill it out, and either mail it in or take it to the Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections.
If you plan to work on residential homes, you need to have insurance and provide proof of that insurance when you apply to be a home improvement contractor. The requirements are at least $50,000 for personal injury liability and $50,000 to cover property damage.
The city requires commercial contractors to have $300,000 for general liability insurance. You’ll need to provide proof of this insurance when you apply for a general contractor’s license.
As you work to get the proper licensing and permits, you might want to also consider whether you have the right equipment for the job. You might need aerial equipment, for example. Could you use extra manlifts, boom lifts, scissor lifts, or forklifts? Make a list of everything you need. If there’s anything on that list that you need but don’t own, consider renting. It’s a great way to save money, and the equipment can be delivered to your job site the day you need it. It’s a cost-effective way to ensure that the job goes smoothly.
Pennsylvania is a great place to live and work. With the right equipment and paperwork in place, you’re sure to find success as a contractor.