Getting a license

9 Replies

I am a licensed Realtor and I am looking into possibly getting my residential builders license.  I see there is a  60 hr course to take, but what else is involved?  Do I hold my own license, or do I need someone else to hold it like a Realtor must do with his broker?  Are there boards that are required to subscribe to?

I want to help a friend and possibly others as a project manager of sorts acting as the General Contractor.  I was going to manage the rehab without paying any of the subcontractors directly, but have been advised I would still need a license for this activity.

Thank you

What is the difference between this license and a general contracting license? They sound similar in your context but I'm just assuming here.

If they are the same license then no it is not like realtor who still needs a broker. You can be an independent contractor and hold full responsibility for projects under your name.

This exam has gotten very difficult over the years (in Florida at least) and requires an abundance of book reading if you are not experienced in the field already. I'd like to say it is 9 (may be 12) books in total in which the exam is based on.

This is specifically in reference to a general contracting license. Not sure what residential builder is.

I, living in wisconsin, had to take a 300 question open book multiple choice test online through a qualified trainer. Once that was passed I had to apply to a contractor qualifier and a contractor's license with the state. The only other requirement was the correct amount of bonding or insurance.... 

I have been out of the Fl Gen. Cont. game for years now. When I got into FL in 1970 an idiot could get a Contractors license and every few years it got incredibly more and more complicated. I would imagine it's even more complicated these days. Several years ago I believe you also needed references from qualified people in the construction fields as well as the general knowledge necessary to pass a convoluted exam. Truth be told, most of the state licensing is just a license to steal. No one truly can test honor, trust  and reliability and stick-to-it-iveness needed to be a capable GC!!

You will be applying for a residential builders license. Once you take the class and pass the test you are now a "builder". You can pull permits to build and or alter a home, hire someone else to do such work under your license, install siding, roofing, Windows. For electrical and plumbing you cannot pull permits with your license

I've been licensed in mi for 10 years. The class and continuing Ed classes are pretty informative.

Funny, I've been considering getting my realtor license

As a side note, I speak from experience when I say instead of trying to find away around inspections, pulling permits etc, just do it right the first time. If you get caught doing something slippery by the city, they tend to be harder on you. I've found most inspectors are very reasonable if they find you to be also

I've had potential buyers inquire about permits being pulled, it's a nice selling feature to be able to say"yes" :)

Reed, for Michigan you would take the 60 hour class, pay your state licensing fees who will then authorize you to go take the test though psi. Once you pass the test you are licensed. For a residential builders license you hold your own license. The only time in the building industry a license is help by another builder is in a base of a sales person license.

Not sure about other states, but in Michigan you have to be licensed to performs any work over $600 on any property other then your own primary home. This includes your rentals, flips, etc. Many people do not follow this with big penalties if you get caught.

With a residential builders license you still need a separate license or licensed person to do mechanical work like plumbing , electrical, and hvac.

As always Bigger Pockets comes through with great answers.  I have decided to take the class and get licensed.  So far it seems to be mostly common sense stuff for anyone in the field.  @Tom Muller if you want any info on the Real Estate license, feel free to reach out to me.  I also agree with you on permits.  I have found inspectors to be more than helpful to me, even those that others complain about.  I will leave it at that.

Thanks to all who answered!