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With a 6.7 percent increase in new home sales in 2015, El Paso is a great place to work as a contractor. Even if building new homes isn’t your specialty, there are plenty of repair and home improvement projects to do with a 10.1 percent increase in existing-home sales. Before you begin, it’s important to make sure you’re following all the city’s rules for permits and licensing.
You will probably need a permit for the project you’re working on. This is because El Paso has strict requirements. You’ll need a permit if you’re:
This can include some projects, such as:
Not every project requires a permit. You won’t need one for smaller landscaping projects, like fences less than 6 feet in height or an above-ground swimming pool containing less than 5,000 gallons of water. Certain mechanical, electrical, and fire protection work doesn’t require a permit.
Always check with One Stop Shop, the licensing and permits office at the Department of Planning and Inspections. City staff can answer questions about which projects do and do not need a building permit.
When it is time to submit your permit, make sure your project fits the appropriate land code and zoning requirements set by the city. You have to consider flood damage prevention, grading ordinances, landscape ordinances, and more. For complicated projects, you might need an engineer or architect to draw detailed plans for you.
El Paso offers a free, pre-submittal review for people who have ambitious projects or have never submitted a permit application.
After you submit your permit application, city staff will reply within seven days to tell you if you are approved or if they need more information.
To get a permit, you need to be registered as an official contractor in El Paso. You must complete a Contractor Registration Application. You can apply as a:
If you have a state or master license number, you need to provide those on your application. All contractors also need to pay an annual registration fee of $102, get a minimum of $100,000 in insurance, and get a blank building construction bond of at least $25,000.
After you have your permits, licenses, and insurance, look for quality equipment. You probably have all the essential tools, but heavy aerial equipment like boom lifts, scissor lifts, forklifts, and manlifts can help you complete your project safely and on time. You don’t need to invest in your heavy equipment if it isn’t used for every project. Aerial equipment rentals are available in and around El Paso.
Prepare before you begin a new construction project and you will save you time, money, and frustration. Make sure you have all the permits, plans, licensing, insurance, and heavy equipment you need to finish your project on time and at cost.