About Construction Projects in Houston, TX
Building in Houston means you’ll need to make sure you have the right licensing and permits. You can’t just start working without getting approval from the city first. Before you take on your next job, use this guide to make sure you’re prepared.
Most types of construction work in Houston require a permit. The Houston Permitting Center must approve all applications before you can get started. If you have any questions about whether or not you need a permit, just call them at 832-394-9494. You can also stop by their office at 1002 Washington Ave.
Depending on your project, you can apply for a mechanical, electrical, plumbing, or general building permit. When you apply, the permit office will assign you a project number. This project number will appear on any permits related to the same project.
Before you can get a permit, the Plan Review Division will need to inspect your plans. This office is made of professionals in the construction field who will make sure you aren’t violating any building codes. If you have questions about the plan review requirements, just call 832-394-8810.
The documents you need to include your permit application include:
- Building permit application
- Declaration in support of building permit application
- Two sets of survey plans
- Excavations and fill worksheet
- Two sets of plot plans
- Two sets of building plans, including foundation plans, wall sections, floor, ceiling, and roof framing plans
- Seal of an engineer
Additionally, all plans must be compliant with the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code.
To work specifically in Houston, you’ll need to apply for certification in the city. It costs $456.53 annual fee to keep your license valid. If it’s your first time applying, you’ll have to fill out an application that will ask for some of your information.
You may also need to be certified by the state of Texas as a contractor if you work in a specialty. Texas has special HVAC, fire sprinkler, plumber, and electrician contractor’s licenses.
Houston requires you to have liability insurance. In the event of an on-the-job accident, this protects you, your workers, and the property you’re working on.
For the city of Houston, you need at least $100,000 of coverage for injuries to one person, $300,000 for injuries to multiple people, and $100,000 for property damage. The city also requires you to have a $25,000 removal bond.
Workers’ compensation insurance is also important to have, as this protects your workers while they’re on the job. However, there are no minimum coverage levels you need to have.
Picking the Right Equipment
Once you’ve got the right permits and licenses, make sure you have the right equipment to do the job. Renting aerial equipment can make your project more successful. Boom lifts, scissor lifts, forklifts, and manlifts all make the job go faster and smoother.
With knowledge of the permitting and licensing requirements, as well as the necessary equipment, you’ll be on your way to success as a contractor in Houston.