Pulling permits without a contractors license

4 Replies

Hello BP. We are fairly new to REI. On our first couple rehabs we were working in a city that allows the home owner pull the building permit even if it isn't their primary residence. We got the permits and acted as the general for the projects. All our sub's were licensed and pulled there own permits for their particular trades. Things went well.

Now we are looking into a project in an area (DeKalb county) that requires a GC to pull the renovation permit if the house is not the owners primary residence.

Aside from getting a contractors license, is there any way around having to hire a GC for the job?  With budgets so tight, we have been able to save money by acting as the general ourselves.  I know this is risky, but my partner and I both have extensive construction backgrounds, and we only use quality, licensed sub's.

Do we just have to bite the bullet and hire a general contractor for the project, and ourselves fall into the role of project manager?  If so, do GC's generally always want to use their own subs?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Yes, you'll need a GC to pull the permits in DeKalb.

That said, you could try to find someone with a GC license who will pull the permits for the fixed fee ($500, for example) and then bring in your own subs.  The GC will be on the hook for the work, so he'll have to be comfortable that you're doing everything correctly and he'll probably want to verify the work before it's inspected, but that would be an inexpensive solution to your situation.

@J Scott's plan will work, if you can find a GC that will help you with the project.  Cost might be higher, though, depending on the scope of work.  The GC isn't just pulling permits, they're actually responsible for the project.

Another alternative is to get a license.  There are companies that have prep classes for taking the test.  The city probably puts on the test.  The do here.  And its an open book test.  They give you the code and test and you answer.  The key skill is knowing how to find stuff in the code book.  I assume you're already intimately familiar with that if you have a construction background and are doing fix and flips.

@Brandon Hardy see if your sub doing all the rough carpentry can pull the permits for you.

Ask him after he submits his bid.

Thanks for the info.  I will try to find a GC that will agree to just do some of the work (ex. rough framing), then verify work as he feels comfortable.

The plan is to get the contractor license eventually, just need an alternative for now.

Good advice as always on BP!

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