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Contractor Licensing FAQ, How To Get Licensed, and Building Contractor Lists

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Amended Ordinance effective March 28th, 2012

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who is required to be licensed? Any one doing construction work for hire on project that requires a building permit.

  • Do all of the people in the firm have to be licensed? No. Only one person in the company needs to be licensed.

  • What is the role of the licensed contractor? The licensed contractor is responsible for the oversight of the entire project. This includes managing of the work, scheduling of the subs and compliance with the building codes.

  • Does a homeowner have to be a licensed contractor to work on their property? No. A homeowner can do work related to the International Residential Code on their own property. What they cannot do is take out the permit and then hire un-licensed contractors to do the work.

  • Can I help my neighbor work on a project? Yes, you can assist your neighbor, family and friends as long as there is no pay for doing the work.

  • What if I work for a licensed contractor as a framer and start doing more framing on the side for myself? At that point you would be required to become a licensed contractor.

  • As a licensed contractor can I do plumbing, electrical and mechanical work? No. Those trades all have their own unique license requirements and will continue to have them.

  • As a property owner can I still do my own plumbing, electrical and mechanical work? No, It is currently not permitted by ordinance.

  • As a property owner can I still do my own HVAC?

    There are several requirements before an homeowner may obtain a residential HVAC Permit.
     
    1. Own the property and have shown to be listed on the "County Assessor" website.
     
    2. Provide proof that you, as the homeowner, reside at the property.
  • As a property owner can I still do my own electrical? 

    There are several requirements before an homeowner may obtain an Electrical Permit.
     
    1. Own the property and have shown to be listed on the "County Assessor" website.
     
    2. Provide proof that you, as the homeowner, reside at the property.
     
    3. Pass a multiple-choice exam which that can be taken at the "Permits and Inspection" Division located on the 11th floor at 1819 Farnam St.
     
    This "Homeowner" permit entitles the homeowner to work on branch circuits only. No "Service" or "Sub-panels" may be worked on.
  • Is it going to cost me hundreds of dollars each year to obtain my CEU’s for recertification? No, there are manufacturers that provide free seminars in this area all of the time. They cover all aspects of construction methods and materials. Most include some type of breakfast or lunch.

  • If I own property and do work on it do I have to have a permit? Maybe. There are specific exemptions in Chapter 43 of the Omaha Municipal Code that are based on exemptions in Chapter 1 of the IRC. If the work falls outside of the exemptions, then a permit is required.

  • I am licensed by the state; do I need a city license? Yes. The state has a registration to confirm that you maintain workmen’s comp insurance. It is not a license.

How do I get licensed?

  • When does this go into effect? An Amendment to the original ordinance was passed March 13, 2012. It goes into effect on March 28th, 2012 however the requirement to have the test passed and be licensed will not go into effect until September 1st of 2012.

  • How do I take the Test? The examination shall be conducted by a third-party testing agency (Testing Information)which has been approved by the ICC for such purposes.

  • What class of license should I apply for? There are five classes of license:

  • Class A contractors can do work on all structures up to and including high rise buildings.

  • Class B contractors can do work on all structures up to and including four stories in height.

  • Class C contractors are home and duplex builders.

  • Class D contractors are residential remodeling contractors.

  • Class E contractors are roofing, siding, window and deck installers.

  • I build sheds and residential garages, should I take the Class A test? No. The Class A test is a highly specialized test dealing with “heavy” commercial construction such as high-rise buildings. If you have never worked in this type of construction most of the test questions will seem foreign to you.

  • How much does the license cost? Each license is good for a 3-year period. The fee to the city for each license is as follows:

  • Class A and B ……. $300.00

  • Class C …………… $200.00

  • Class E (No ICC Test Required).......$200.00

  • Class E (With Proof of passed ICC Test)....$100.00

  • Do I have any insurance requirements? Yes. Insurance is required in the following amounts:

  • Class A and B ………… $1,000,000.00

  • Class C ……………….. $ 500,000.00

  • Class D and E ……….. $ 300,000.00

  • Do I have to have a bond? Yes. A bond in the amount of $10,000.00 is required.

  • I am licensed by the state; do I need a city license? Yes. The state has a registration to confirm that you maintain workmen’s comp insurance. It is not a license.

  

You can also visit us at OmahaPermits.com to search for current licenses.

 

Additional Questions, E-mail Us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Click Here for Contractor Licensing frequently asked questions

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Building permits are required before you start any construction work and are the responsibility of the property owner, but may be applied for by a contractor or other representative. Permit costs are quadrupled if you start a project without a permit.

  1. Why do I need a Permit?
  2. Do I apply for a permit with Omaha or another agency such as Douglas County or Valley?
  3. Where is the City of Omaha building permit office?
  4. How long will it take to get a building permit?
  5. How much do building permits cost?
  6. What type of work requires a building permit?
  7. What do I need to submit to get a building permit?
  8. What is a site plan and where do I get one?
  9. Do I need a Certificate of Occupancy?
  10. Do you issue a Certificate of Occupancy for Homes?
  11. Gallery of useful information for common residential projects
  12. Who is the Inspector in my Area?
  13. Do I need a Peddler Permit?
  14. Online Permitting Help (www.omahapermits.com)

Why do I need a permit?

A permit is a way of providing reasonable controls for the design, construction, use, occupancy, and maintenance of buildings, their facilities, and various components. The permit document shows that a building project is being constructed under processes for insuring code compliance and public safety.

Where do I get a building permit?
Building permits are issued and applied for at the Omaha Civic Center (1819 Farnam Street) in Room 1110, the Eleventh Floor. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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How long will it take to get a building permit?
Building permits that do not require plan review will be issued at the time of application. Building permits that do require plan review will typically be issued in two to three weeks but could take longer during peak times of the year depending on the workload. Please plan ahead and submit your application in advance to allow time for plan review.

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How much do building permits cost?
The minimum fee is $41 for up to $2,000 in value for labor and material. Your own labor and used materials must be assigned a reasonable value. New homes, room additions, and garage cost are figured on a square foot basis using tables developed by the Planning Department. For a complete listing of fees visit our Fees section.

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What type of work requires a building permit?

Building Permits are required for:

* Anything Structural

 

* Room Additions

* New Dwellings

* Roofing or Siding

* Decks (New and Replacements)

* Fences (New and Replacements)

* Basement Finish

* Garages

* Antennas or Towers

* Sheds over 75 Square Feet

* Window Replacements

* Retaining Walls over 6’ High

* Front yard Parking

* Fireplaces and Wood Stoves (manufacturer’s installation instructions required)

Building Permits are not required for:

 

* Carpet or Flooring

* Painting or Wallpaper

* Cabinets and Countertops

* Playhouses and Dog Houses

* Swing Sets and Play Equipment

* New Concrete Under 200 Square Feet

* Retaining Walls 6' and Under


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What do I need to submit to get a building permit?
Permits for Roofing or Siding, Basement Finish, and Window Replacements can be obtained with just an application and permit fee while others will require additional information and drawings.

Attention: Applicants submitting plans for a building permit are required to provide three full sets at time of application.

A site plan only is required for:

* Sheds under 150 Square Feet
* Driveways and Paving

A site plan and structural drawings are required for:

* Sheds and Garages 150 Square Feet and over
* Decks
* Retaining Walls over 6’ High (requires an engineer’s design, seal, and signature)

A site plan, structural drawings, floor plans, and elevation drawings are required for:

* Room and Garage additions
* New Dwellings (must include survey certificate)

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Do I need a Certificate of Occupancy?

A Certificate of Occupancy is needed if :

  1. You are opening a new business in an existing building and the previous business had a different use. (Ex. A building was a restaurant now you are using it for a car lot)
  2. You are opening a new business in a new building that has had no existing use.

The fee for the first certificate of occupancy for a new building shall be $125.00.

The fee for existing buildings or subsequent bays (interior subdivisions) or common areas of new buildings or for a change of occupancy (change of use or purpose) shall be $125.00.

The fee for each temporary certificate of occupancy for all or part of a new or existing building shall be $125.00 with a maximum time limit of 90 days.

The fee for a copy of a certificate of occupancy shall be $15.00.

Pre-occupancy fee: The fee for occupancy without a certificate of occupancy, when allowed, shall be $950.00 in addition to the regular certificate of occupancy fee, with a maximum time limit of 30 days.

A reinspection fee for a certificate of occupancy inspection, where the project was not ready or required additional work, shall be charged $50.00 per inspector per inspection.

Certificate of occupancy fees shall be paid at the time of application. No inspection will occur without the fee being paid.

When calling to set up a Certificate of Occupancy please make sure that you have all of the following available or completed:

  1. Address
  2. Contact information of onsite contact
  3. Description of area to be used (ex. whole building, suite number, first floor)
  4. Business completely finished and ready to occupy with all inspections from other permits completed and approved.
  5. Time and date you want Certificate of Occupancy inspections performed. (must provide at least 4 days notice for scheduling of inspections due to all parties involved)
  • You will be contacted by phone or mail when your Certificate of Occupancy is complete. Please visit www.omahapermits.com to follow the status of your inspections.

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Do you issue a Certificate of Occupancy for homes?

We do not issue a Certificate of Occupancy for a home, but we can provide a power letter that verifies completion of applicable inspections and permits.

Cost for letter is $30 dollars

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What is a site plan and where do I get one?

A site plan is a drawing of your entire property and should include:

  • lot dimensions
  • existing and proposed improvements
  • the distance from those improvements to your property boundaries

If you have recently purchased or built your property an actual survey with improvement locations will usually accompany your mortgage and purchase information. You may also obtain useful lot information by visiting the Douglas Omaha GIS website.

Click to view larger image of acceptable site plan
Example of acceptable site plan for a residential project.


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Gallery of useful information for common residential projects

* Garage site plan example

* Floating Slab detail

* Slab on Grade detail

* Crawl Space detail

* Full Basement detail

* Residential Deck Guidelines

* Span Tables

* Egress Windows


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Do I need a Peddler Permit?

Please contact Permits and Inspections at 402-444-5350 or visit the following link to view the section of the Omaha Municode referring to Peddler Permits 19-89

 

 

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Additional Questions, E-mail Us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.