General guidelines to follow when hiring a contractor:
CITY BUSINESS LICENSE
Anyone doing business or soliciting for business in the City of Orange Beach must have a City of Orange Beach Business License. Please contact the Finance Department for questions or additional information related to city business licenses.
The State of Alabama has separate licensing Boards for Home Builders, General Contractors, Electrical Contractors, Plumbing and Gas Fitters, and Mechanical and HVAC Contractors. These licensing boards were formed to ensure that contractors performing work in the State of Alabama are properly licensed, certified, trained, and bonded to perform work.
Home Builder - Residential
In the State of Alabama, one who engages in the construction or improvement of a residential structure* where the cost of the undertaking (including labor and materials) exceeds $10,000 (or $2,500 for roofing) must hold an active Home Builders license issued by the Alabama Home Builders Licensure Board.
*Any residence or structure that is not over three floors in height and that does not have more than four residential units. (Code of Alabama §34-14A-2)
General Contractor - Non-Residential / Swimming Pools
In the State of Alabama, one who engages in the construction or improvement of commercial or public properties where the cost of the undertaking (including labor and materials) is $50,000 or more or any swimming pool construction of $5,000 or more must hold an active General Contractor license issued by the Alabama Licensing Board for General Contractors.
- Electrical contractors are required to hold an active Master Electricians license from the Alabama Electrical Contractors Board.
- Plumbing contractors are required to hold an active Master Plumbers license from the Alabama Plumbers & Gas Fitters Examining Board.
- Gas contractors are required to hold an active Master Gas Fitters license from the Alabama Plumbers & Gas Fitters Examining Board.
- Mechanical/HVAC contractors are required to hold an active HVAC license from the Alabama Heating & Air Conditioning Contractors Board.
- Fire Alarm/Sprinkler contractors are required to hold the proper permit issued by the Alabama Fire Marshal's Office.
- Any trade contractor who engages in the construction or improvement of commercial or public properties where the cost of the undertaking (including labor and materials) is $50,000 or more must also hold an active General Contractor license issued by the Alabama Licensing Board for General Contractors.
PROPERTY OWNER EXEMPTIONS
Some licensure exemptions are available to property owners who act as their own contractor, however permits are still required.
It is the property owner's responsibility to verify any subcontractors employed have the proper licenses required by State law and a City of Orange Beach Business License. Construction must comply with all applicable laws, ordinances, building codes, and zoning regulations.
Home Builders Licensure Law Exemption
The Home Builders Licensure Law provides a homeowner exemption for property owners who build or improve their own residence for their own occupancy or use with the following criteria:
- Property owners claiming the homeowner exemption violate the Home Builders Licensure Law if the residence is offered for sale within one year of the Certificate of Occupancy issue date.
- Property owners who hire or compensate anyone to supervise the building or improvement of their residence are not acting as their own contractor.
- Subcontractors hired by property owners claiming the homeowner exemption must be licensed if the cost of the undertaking for the portion the subcontractor is hired to do exceeds $10,000.00. Types of Home Builder Licenses.
- Property owners claiming the homeowner exemption jeopardize their rights for protection under the provisions of the Home Builders Licensure Law, which include benefits of filing a consumer complaint and receiving payment from the Homeowners’ Recovery Fund.
- Violation of the Alabama Home Builders Licensure Law is a Class A misdemeanor (§34-14A-14) punishable by up to 12 months in jail and fines up to $6,000.00.
A Home Builder Exemption Affidavit (PDF) shall be submitted with the permit application.
General Contractors Licensure Law Exemption
The General Contractors Licensure Law provides an exemption for a person, firm, or corporation constructing a building or other improvements on his, her, or its own property provided that any of the work contracted out complies with the definition in Chapter 8 of Title 34, Code of Alabama, 1975 as amended, for general contractor.
A General Contractor Exemption Affidavit (PDF) shall be submitted with the permit application.
Trade Work Exemptions
With the exception of gas fitting work, a property owner can perform their own trade work (electrical, plumbing, and mechanical/HVAC) on their own property. Trade work permits are required.
Gas fitting work must be performed by a State licensed Master Gas Fitter. The Master Gas Fitter responsible for the proposed work shall submit the Gas Permit application.