Building Permit Information
Who should take out a building permit when building a new home? Taking out a building permit or "pulling" permits is part of the duties professional dwelling contractors offer their clients. Here are a few reasons why the contractor--not the homeowner--should apply for building permits.
Why Your Contractor Should Pull A Building Permit:
Documentation. A homeowner does not have the necessary documentation and information needed. Heat calculation, grading plans, wall details, and scaled plans in triplicate are just the beginning of what may be required. Many people without construction backgrounds do not know how to put these things together for permit applications. Contractors often have more experience and can correctly & efficiently handle the applications.
Protection. If a homeowner is asked to pull permits by the contractor, the homeowner might list the contractor along with his license number on the permit application and then use an unlicensed contractor to actually do the work. The State of Wisconsin has added hefty fines to the codes that deal with this and will charge not only the offender but also the contractor whose license number was used. When the contractor pulls the permits it offers protection for both parties.
Familiarity. Contractors often build relationships with building inspectors. They discuss the project and get to know each other. This is valuable in any construction project, as having everyone working on the same page is the most efficient way to do business.
Timeliness. Time is of the essence. Contractors submit all the necessary information on time so a homeowner won't be waiting unnecessarily for a permit to get approved. If a contractor gets a call that something is missing, she/he will better understand what is needed for a quick resolution.
Liability. As a homeowner pulling the building permit for the contractor, you may be personally liable should there be an injury. As the homeowner, you may also be unaware that the contractor may not be paying unemployment insurance, worker's compensation insurance, or carrying liability insurance, thus putting unknown liability on you.
Is your contractor eligible to pull the permit for your job?
Yes, if they have the two following credentials that are required by the state of Wisconsin for any contractor that provides labor on a project that requires a municipal building permit:
- Dwelling Contractor Qualifier certification (DCQ) from the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) which requires continuing education. This requires renewal every two years by taking 12 continuing education credits
- Dwelling Contractor certification (DC) requires annual renewal through the state
Who checks for these credentials?
The local municipality issuing the building permit is required to record the contractor's information and make sure both credentials are current. You too can ask any contractor to see their credentials before you hire them.
Why choose a WBA member?
All local associations that are part of the Wisconsin Builders Association require their members to be DCQ/DC certified. So, when you go with a WBA builder, you know you are going with an above-the-board contractor.