I have to address the issue of permitting because it is a question that I run across weekly from prospect clients. When it comes to permitting there are 3 primary question that I get:
- Do I need a permit for this job?
- How much will the permit cost?
- Can I pull the permit myself?
Let’s address the questions in order of operation. Most kitchen and bathroom remodels require a permit. Often times out the area contractor will try and talk that home owner into not pulling permits. I can only speculate that that the out of the area contractor is trying to avoid paying the city licensing fee to the City of Manhattan Beach. The city license fee is a required by any business entity doing business in the City of Manhattan Beach.
- How much will the permit cost? This cost is independent of plan check and building permit fees. Plan check and building permit fees in Manhattan Beach, CA can range $800- $1,500 for a bathroom remodel and $1,500- $2,500 for a kitchen remodel. The permit fees are based on the reported job cost of the project.
- Can I pull the permit myself? Yes, it is called “Owner/builder” can pull the permit in their personal name. It has to be the person on the title of the property. Every once in a while a prospect client tries to contract us to do work under a permit that they have pulled. It is absolutely legal to do so but there are substantial drawbacks to doing this. By law the person that pulls the permits (contractor of record) acts as the contractor. That carries a tremendous amount of responsibly. I had a bad experience last year by letting a pushy client pull the permits in their name. I would prefer to pull permit, handle the inspections at appropriate times and get the job finalized by building and safety. I no longer want the change of custody of inspection blurred between contractor and homeowner.
***Warning: If while interviewing contractor you come across a company that is trying to talk you away from pulling permits…run! Local, south bay contractor should have the local city licenses and pull permits as a matter of process with every new job they take on. On large projects these inspections are there for the protection of the home owner. Inspection days do add to the length of the job but they are a necessary part the of the construction process. Hiring a reputable local contractor will go a long way towards a smooth construction project.