Contractors, State Laws & Local Jurisdictions, & Building Permits

on Tuesday, 08 September 2015. Posted in DC Metro Media Room Installation

What to expect as a Homeowner

 

 Encore Custom Audio/Video is a Licensed General Contractor who specializes in the construction and installation of High End Private Cinemas and/or Home theaters in the Residential Market.  

 

What to expect as a Homeowner

What should a homeowner expect when hiring a General Contractor to build a Media Room, Home Theater, or Private Cinema?  This is a very good question and in most cases the average homeowner doesn't know the answer.  We will talk about the guidelines and correct procedures that will give the homeowner piece of mind that their project is being facilitated properly.

 

Licensing

This may be the single biggest mistake that homeowners make.  Choose a Licensed Contractor and make sure that they are insured.  Many homeowners think that while hiring a friend, family friend, or someone that did work on a neighbor's house without a license will save them money, it only sets the homeowner up for financial and emotional disaster.  If you hire someone that is not licensed and insured, you have no legal rights, as a homeowner, to stand on.  Hiring a Licensed Contractor gives the homeowner equal rights to the work that is being performed through a legal and binding contract.  Most states will protect homeowners against faulty work if performed by a Licensed Contractor.  Please check your state government for General Contractors.  It also allows for the homeowner to have peace of mind in the event that something does happen.  The contractor is insured and would be able to handle any damages if an accident were to occur.  General Contractors who are licensed have to pass a strenuous test that requires great knowledge of codes, laws, financial responsibilities, and homeowner rights.

 

State Building Laws vs. Local Jurisdiction 

State Laws and Local County Jurisdictions are different, so please keep this in mind when having construction done.  Even though you may hire a contractor that is licensed in your State, the local county code supersedes the State level.  Building Codes on a State level are usually enforced by the local jurisdictions, but there are many cases where your local county or jurisdiction will require even more from your contractor in order to meet local codes.  A great example of this would be the State of North Carolina.  Building codes are much different in areas such as the Outer Banks and Coastal region than they are in such places like Charlotte which is located approximately 6 hours away by car.  The type of material used to construct the homes is different because of the weather and geography of where these homes are built, therefore, your local building code always takes precedence.  

 

Building Permits

When you finally choose the right Contractor, you are ready to start the construction process.  Normally when making any alterations to a new or existing space it requires a building permit from the county that you live in.  Your Licensed Contractor should be able to pull the proper permits for the scope of work he or she is performing in the home.  A few examples of these permits would be framing, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing.  Once the permits are issued the work commences.  Once each phase of the project is completed, the contractor will call the county for that inspection to be completed.  A county inspector will then come to the property and do a thorough inspection and will pass or fail the work based on your local building codes.  This process is done through the entire project, usually existing in two stages, rough in and final inspections.  Building permits are important for many reasons; the most notable is to ensure that your home is being constructed in a manner that meets stringent guidelines for your safety.  Building codes differ from state to state and from county to county, so please check your state and local governments for proper codes.  Once the final inspections are completed and passed, your home will be recorded and filed at the county level.  Any work performed and passed will now show up on the description of your home for re-sale purposes.  This allows you to market the home correctly, and get the best return on your investment.

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