About Construction Projects in Bellingham, WA
Bellingham Washington is the northernmost city in the United States outside of Alaska with a population of over 85,000 people. It is often placed on a list of best places to retire which makes it a great place for you to start your next project. If you do decide to build in Bellingham, it is a good idea to make yourself familiar with the local rules and regulations. There are various licenses, inspection, and permits you have to get for your project.
You will need to get a building permit if you plan on constructing, enlarging, altering, repairing, moving, or demolishing a building or structure. You are required to obtain a permit before you do any of those things. Permits are not required for everything, and the following are examples of projects that you do not need a permit for:
- Alterations valued at less than $1,500
- Cases, counters, and partitions lower than five ft. 9 inches.
- Exterior decks
- Fences lower than 6 feet tall
- Ordinary repairs
- Retaining walls
- Sidewalks and driveways
There are certain types of permits that you can apply for online. These kinds of permits include electrical, plumbing, mechanical, fire construction, franchise utilities, and sign and re-roofing. On the other hand, for building, land-use, and public works permits, you have to apply by email or in-person.
You also have to pay the permit fees. Visit the City of Bellingham website where they have a permit fee calculator that figures out your fees for you.
After you get the permits you need for your project, you will have to have your building inspected. On the city website, there is an online permit portal where you can schedule and cancel inspections. Inspections are an important part of the building process as they ensure the safety of the building.
In Washington State, you do not have to have a contractor’s license. You do, however, have to register with the Washington Department of Labor and Industries. For Bellingham, you do have to have a business license if you plan on doing contracting work within the city. You can apply online on the cities website through their online portal. You have to mail in your application and the appropriate fee.
Contractor Liability Insurance
In Washington, if you are a contractor, you must have a surety bond, and have liability insurance. This protects both the contractor and the owner of the property in the case of damages. Make sure you contact a local insurance agency and get a plan that suits your needs before beginning construction.
For most construction projects, you will need some equipment to finish the job. The most common types of equipment are aerial equipment like boom lifts, scissor lifts, manlifts, and forklifts. Whatever equipment you need, BigRentz can help.