About Construction Projects in Waco, TX
Tired of your day job and want to try a new career? Why not become a general contractor in Waco, Texas? Being a contractor lets you work on projects you like and set your own schedule. However, there are a few things to consider before getting jobs. You’ll need to understand the Waco building permit process and make sure you have the correct contractor licensing.
Getting a Construction Permit
The Inspection Services Department issues all permits in Waco. Depending on the project, you might need one or more different types of permits. Construction and remodeling projects are all done with the same permit. However, complicated projects like electrical, mechanical, and plumbing work each require a separate permit.
Before you get a permit, an inspector needs to check out the area. You can go online or call the Inspection Services Department to schedule an inspection. An inspection appointment can be made up to 3 p.m. the day before.
When it comes time to submit the building permit application, you’ll need to describe the project. For residential projects, you’ll also need to include a complete plan set or floor plan. Commercial projects require four plan sets, four landscape plans or civil drawings, and two plans for the interior renovations.
General Construction Permit Fees
Applying for a permit is not free. The minimum amount it will cost you is $50. For residential projects, you have to multiply the square footage of the home by 13 cents or .13. Commercial buildings are the same up to 100,000 square feet. Any square footage over this costs 9 cents per square foot. Exterior projects, like a swimming pool or site grading, cost $75 and $50, respectively.
One more important thing to keep in mind about permits is that you have to be a licensed contractor to apply for one. In the city of Waco, there are certain things you must do to earn this certification.
How to Become a Waco Contractor
In order to be a Waco contractor, you need to have liability insurance. The City of Waco must be the beneficiary of the policy, which must have a minimum coverage of $300,000. However, once you get insurance, you won’t have to pay any other registration fees.
Contractors who work in specialty areas, such as plumbing, electricity, gas, or landscaping, require additional bonding and licensing. These types of contractors must get a Texas contracting license. This process includes a number of steps:
- Collecting work experience
- Getting reference letters from former contractors you’ve worked with who are licensed by Texas
- Getting references from previous customers
- Collecting professional qualifications
After submitting these to the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration, you might need to take an exam to prove your expertise. Luckily, general contractors and handymen don’t have to go through this process.
Once you’ve got your license and your permits, don’t forget about making sure you have the right equipment. In addition to basic tools, you might want to consider renting aerial equipment, such as scissor lifts, boom lifts, manlifts, and forklifts. This equipment can help your project go a lot faster.
With all of this advice in mind, you’ll have no problem being a successful contractor in Waco.