To work in construction, contractors must follow rules and laws to build projects. This includes getting permits, insurance, licenses, and inspections. You must have these documents for most types of home improvement projects. Learn when you need these papers during the construction process and where to get them.
There are strict rules for construction projects in Seattle. These rules make sure that all projects done in the city limits keep properties and people safe.
Before you begin a construction project, you must get a building permit. Adding a deck, building an addition, and constructing a garage are all permitted projects. Most small projects do not need a permit.
The City of Seattle only accepts electronic permits. You need to give a site plan with your application. This includes the property’s features and what changes you plan to make.
Fees depend on the project’s value. You pay 75 percent of the fees when you turn in your application. You pay the rest before you print your permit. Depending on the number of applicants, the wait time can run several weeks long.
After you get your building permit, you may need several inspections to check your work. Some inspections you may need include:
Other work, including HVAC, plumbing, and electrical, need separate inspections. After your work passes the last inspection, you get approval to occupy.
To ask for an inspection, apply online, call the automated request line or contact Customer Support. Inspections typically happen the next day.
The City of Seattle only wants trained professionals working on construction projects. That’s why contractors need licenses. All general and specialty contractors must register with Washington’s Labor and Industries division. General contractors do or supervise many trades. Specialty contractors do only one trade, such as:
Get an employer identification number (EIN) from the government. Complete a business license application. Fees range from $15 to $20.
Pay the contractor registration fee. First-time registration costs $113.40. Renewals cost $180. You must renew every two years. You will get a response within two to four weeks.
Contractors who work in Seattle also need liability coverage or bonds. These insurance policies cover the property and contractor if there are accidents.
Depending on the type of project, insurance rates might be high. Seattle asks for these bond coverage types:
General liability coverage includes:
To work in construction, you need the right gear. You may need to rent equipment to reach heights. Aerial equipment you can rent includes:
Don’t start a construction project without the right papers. This includes permits, inspections, licenses, and insurance. Get your papers together right away. You need these documents no matter if you’re a general contractor, HVAC tech, or plumber.