If you’re planning on building in Austin, Texas, there are specific permits that you’re going to need to build. Also, you’ll need liability coverage and licenses to be on the right side of the law. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need to start.
When it comes to Austin, you need a permit to erect, convert, remove, improve, repair, alter, enlarge, construct, demolish, or move any building or structure. If you’re unsure whether the job you’re planning requires a permit, call the Development Services Department of the City of Austin and ask. It’s better to check ahead of time and get the proper paperwork together than to be fined.
Once the work is done, an inspection may be required, depending on the type of permit you applied for. Schedule a final inspection to earn a Certificate of Occupancy or Certificate of Compliance.
Building inspections can be scheduled by the general contractor, trade contractor, or official agents. Note that as of February 13, 2017, there is a new process for commercial projects that require special inspections. The new process involves specific forms you need to fill out and for you to keep a field folder that is issued with the permit on site at all times. This will include a special inspections log, and a special inspector/testing agency completes the inspection.
You can schedule an inspection by going online and filling out a request through the Austin Build + Connect portal. You can also call in to make the request using your IVR PIN. To get an IVR PIN, you need to complete the “Inspection Agent Letter of Authorization and Request for IVR PIN” form. If you request the inspection before 6 a.m. on a business day, the inspection will be scheduled for that day. If you make the request after 6 a.m., the inspection will be scheduled for the next business day.
In Texas, only specialty contractors need licensing. These are the areas that require licenses:
Contractors in Texas need contractors general liability insurance that protects against personal injury, damage, and advertising injury. This covers anything that happens at the office or on the job site. This insurance is to protect you should anything unexpected happen.
Talk with an insurance agent to determine if there are any requirements for how much insurance you should have on your policy to work in Austin and if there are any special requirements.
As you prepare for your job, you may need equipment that you do not currently own for the job to go smoothly. Rather than purchasing these out of pocket, consider renting them to save money and help the work go faster. These may include:
Ensuring you have the proper permits, licenses, and insurance before you begin the job will make everything go much smoother and end with a happy client.