What Permits Can A General Contractor Pull ?
[BLOG] Published: 2023-03-26 - Updated: 2023-05-31
What Permits Can A General Contractor Pull?
A general contractor is responsible for overseeing the entire construction project and ensuring that all work is completed safely and is up to code. This includes obtaining the necessary permits and inspections for the project.
However, the permits that a general contractor can pull vary depending on the state, city, and municipality where the project is taking place. It is important to check the local regulations to determine which permits are required and who is responsible for obtaining them.
Why Should a Contractor Pull Permits?
It’s important to hire a qualified and licensed contractor to identify the necessary permits to pull, and who insists on pulling their permits.
A general contractor should pull permits because you will be in constant contact with them and you will also be aware of the project and permit timeframes.
There are different types of permits which can be tricky. Contractors are well-versed in the permits needed for their area of work, which makes it much easier for them to get the right ones for the job.
A general contractor pulling the permits can streamline the whole renovation or building process and keep things moving. This means you will not have to worry about what permits you need and all the ins and outs that go along with individual permits.
Types Of Work A General Contractor Can Pull Permits
Generally, a general contractor can pull permits for the following types of work:
Building permits are required for any construction work that involves new construction, additions, or alterations to a building or structure. This includes work such as plumbing, electrical, and mechanical installations.
Electrical permits are required for any work involving electrical installations or modifications, such as installing new wiring, circuits, or outlets.
Plumbing permits are required for any work involving plumbing installations or modifications, such as installing new pipes, fixtures, or water heaters.
Mechanical permits are required for any work involving mechanical installations or modifications, such as HVAC systems, boilers, or elevators.
Demolition permits are required for any work involving the complete or partial demolition of a building or structure.
Excavation permits are required for any work involving the excavation or grading of land, such as digging a foundation or installing a pool.
Tree removal permits
Tree removal permits are required for any work involving the removal of trees on a property.
ProTip Takeaway: Not all permits can be obtained by a general contractor. Permits for specialized work such as asbestos removal, lead abatement, or hazardous waste disposal may require specific certifications or licenses. In such cases, the general contractor may need to hire a specialized contractor who is qualified to obtain the necessary permits.
What You Need To Know About Permits
Here are some important things you should know about construction permits.
- All permits have a time limit.
- Permit fees will vary from municipality to municipality.
- Municipalities have different requirements that require building, plumbing, electric and heating-a/c permits for certain types of projects.
- Some municipalities require special permits depending on their regulations such as insulation, fireplace, final grade, re-roofing, space heaters, decks, etc.
- There are some permits that are required by the county. These include septic systems, wells, certain driveway approach modifications, and many others.
- It is presumed and expected that when a permit is pulled it will be inspected by a building department official.
- Building permits are pulled by the person doing the work. This can be a general contractor or builder, heating company, plumbing contractor, or electrical contractor. It can also be pulled by a homeowner if he is doing the work unless there is a municipal ordinance that states otherwise.
- Licensed and experienced contractors and sub-contractors will pull their own permits. This is because they do not want someone else’s name on their work.
If for some reason the original person who pulled the permit is cleared of their duties before the completion of the job, the municipality should be informed. The replacement contractor or sub-contractor will then be required to review any of the previous work before taking over. The cleared contractor will also need to be notified in writing as it relates to the same.
Situations Where You Don’t Need a Contractor or Permits
A permit or a remodeling contractor is not always required to perform home or building projects. Permits will mostly be required for complicated or dangerous jobs in some areas. There are however other situations where permits will be required for even small jobs. These include
- Adding wallpaper or painting your house
- Adding hardwood or carpet to your house
- Replacing countertops in your kitchen
- Minor electrical work
- Replacing a faulty faucet
What happens when a homeowner pulls a permit for someone they’ve hired?
Now a case where a homeowner pulls a permit for someone they have hired, the following applies:
The worker will make an extra profit because the homeowner will have paid for something that should have been included in the total cost.
The homeowner is now responsible for the quality of the work as well as any shortcomings or problems that may occur.
It can create an opportunity for a builder or general contractor to have someone who is not licensed and less experienced do the work.
The homeowner will be held responsible if anyone on the job gets injured on the job.
Importance of a Permit during Renovation and Construction Jobs
Legally, permits are required for most major renovation and construction jobs. These jobs include building, plumbing, and electrical. The contractor and homeowner in charge of a project could be in a world of trouble if unpermitted work is done.
It is important to pull a permit before a job because:
- It will lessen the risk of injury
- The permit will help to prevent damage to the property
- Permits protect the contractor and the property owner from fines
- They will protect the contractor and the property owner from lawsuits
- Permits will keep the municipality from ordering a teardown
- Investors will not approve a home sale if they find unpermitted work
- Potential buyers can cancel a home purchase if they find unpermitted work
- A contractor working without a permit can be reported to the state's contractor licensing board if caught doing unpermitted work.
A contractor working without a permit can face the following consequences:
- They can have hefty fines
- They can be served with civil lawsuits
- They can negative website reviews
- They can lose their contractor license
ProTip Takeaway: Unpermitted work is a big problem that doesn't go away easily. If the property is ever in the market, inspectors will refer to prior documentation and any unpermitted work will require fixing and approval.
How Much Do Contractors Charge For Pulling Permits?
When charging for permits the general contractor must cover both permit cost and time compensation. The permit cost is between $400 and $2,500 though this cost will vary by municipality or city. There are places where construction permits have flat fees based on the type of remodeling project.
ProTip Takeaway: A contractor can also pay based on the value of the project whereas the construction "values" can be based on materials and labor.
While there are no set rules for how contractors charge for permit pulls, some contractors will simply charge their clients what the building department charges to have the permit pulled.
Here are the steps for permit pulls:
- Researching all permits needed through the building department
- Completing permit applications
- Creating a site plan If everything is in order, getting a plan approval from the building department
- Getting the official permit
- Scheduling any required inspections with the city
- Completing your project
- Getting a final inspection if necessary
Do Permits Have an Expiration Date?
Yes, a permit has an expiration date so when getting a permit for a home remodel, be sure to pay attention to the expiration date. This is a good reason to hire a contractor as they will keep an eye on important dates.
Buildings Permit concept with residential building projects and condominium
There are many cases where projects go unfinished or have to be demolished because their permits expire. In a case where you completed your home improvement project after the permit’s expiration date, you may end up parting with more money in the future.
Hire a home remodeling contractor to complete your project to ensure your project is completed on time. They will provide you with all the costs so you will know exactly how much you will spend to pull permits.
You will have peace of mind knowing your project is in good hands. Be sure to stay in contact with your home improvement contractor to know when the permits are filed.
Are You Ready To Remodel Your Home
We understand that a contractor's reputation is involved each time they pull a permit. Our contractor is the best in the area and you can be sure we pull all our permits with integrity to give our clients a lifetime of peace of mind. Let’s work together, contact us today for a free consultation.