Contractor Requirements

General guidelines to follow when hiring a contractor:

  • Request copies of State and local licenses and insurance.
  • Require a written/signed contract detailing the proposed work and cost. 
    Remember, if it is in the contract, you can expect to have it done. If it is not there, even with a verbal promise, you may not get what you think you are paying for.
  • Require a copy of the issued building permit that includes the proposed work and valuation.
  • If a contractor asks you as the owner to obtain building permits, look into any reasons they are unable or unwilling to obtain permits themselves. While not always the case, many unlicensed or improperly licensed contractors have the owners obtain permits for the project.

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.

STATE LICENSING

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 (single family home, duplex, townhouse) where the cost of the undertaking (including labor and materials) exceeds $10,000 must hold an active Home Builders license issued by the Alabama Home Builders Licensure Board, unless the work performed is not within the jurisdiction of the Board.

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.

Trade Contractors

HOMEOWNER EXEMPTIONS

Some licensure exemptions are available to property owners who act as their own contractor. The property owner shall submit their own permit application(s) with "OWNER BUILDER" as the contractor. Please note: tenants, lessees, and property managers do not qualify as property owners. The applicant must be a grantee listed on the property deed. In cases where an entity (LLC, INC, etc.) is the grantee on the property deed, the applicant must be a verifiable qualifying representative of that entity.

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

The Home Builders Licensure Law provides a homeowner exemption for property owners who build or improve their own residence (single family, duplex, townhouse) 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) must be submitted by the property owner with the Building Permit application.

General Contractors Licensure Law

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) must be submitted by the property owner with the Building Permit application.

Trade Permits

The only trade that a property owner may not apply for is gas fitting work. This type of 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.