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By LP in Auburn, GA on 9/17/2009


I spoke to the city planner, and he said I must have a license to build before they issue me a permit. I told him the State of Georgia requires no contractor license to owner-build but he said since I am building a new building on new land, they require a GC. This is Barrow County. Is he just making things hard for me?
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By Bettie in Harlem, GA on 9/18/2009


Your City Planner do not understand the new GA laws.  I had the same problem with my City Planner (Harlem, GA) when I owner-built. 

I actually had to print out the information and carry it into the City and then we had to confirm the information with the county and the state.

The answer is NO, you do not have to have a GC license to owner-build your house.  In my county (Columbia) you do have to have licensed plumbers, electricians, and HVAC contractors.

I realize each county is different, yet they are governed by the same state laws.


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By Michele in Lawrenceville, GA on 9/18/2009


My husband and I just completed our home in Hall County.  The state does not require a GC, only that a builder have a license if building for another person.  Only our mortgage company made any requirements on this so we had a licensed builder sign our paperwork.  I think this guy in Barrow County is confused or mistaken.  One thing we did learn is to ask our questions at the top of the chain to find people who really knew what was going on.  It is sometimes unbelievable what supposedly knowledgable people will tell you.  Good luck!
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By Michele in Lawrenceville, GA on 9/18/2009


In the state of Georgia, you can do your own plumbing, electric, etc. if you trust yourself.  But plumbers, electricains, etc. must be licensed if they do work for others.
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By LP in Auburn, GA on 9/18/2009


Michelle,

What did the licensed builder charge when signing your paperwork?


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By Erik in Dawsonville, GA on 9/18/2009


As others have said already, he is either confused or Barrow County is trying to implement some requirement beyond the state mandates. However, you probably don't want to get on this person's bad side as that may result in other inspection difficulties down the road.

You could consider becoming a GC yourself... in GA there is no testing and no requirement that you have specific knowledge before they will license you; you just have to pay the fee(s)! Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing of course, depends on your perspective. :-)

Good luck with your project! I hope you have better luck with finding good subs than I did!

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By Maitresse in Fairburn, GA on 9/19/2009


From the GA Secretary of State website regarding becoming a GC in the state of Georgia:

Pursuant to Georgia law, the following types of contractors must obtain a license from the State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors by July 1, 2008:

  • Residential-Basic Contractor (Contractor work relative to detached one-family and two-family residences and one-family townhouses not over three stories in height).
  • Residential-Light Commercial Contractor (Contractor work or activity related to multifamily and multiuse light commercial buildings and structures).
  • General Contractor (Contractor work or activity that is unlimited in scope regarding any residential or commercial projects).

After July 2, 2007, all applicants for licensure must pass a two-part examination: A practical section related to the license they are trying to obtain and a business and law section. To download an application and to see further instructions and information on the examination, please click  Examination Information for details. Examinations are offered Mondays through Fridays in Atlanta, Macon, and Tifton.


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By Lee in Whitesburg, GA on 9/19/2009


I pulled my permit in June this year for Carroll County.  No license or contractor required.  I listed myself as the contractor for the electrical, HVAC, and plumbing.  No problems or questions asked about it.  I later decided to use a local plumber -- I just let the county know I changed my mind and provided them with his information.   I passed my mechanical inspection last week. 

Lee

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By LP in Auburn, GA on 9/19/2009


The below message comes directly from Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.)

O.C.G.A. § 43-41-17

(h) Nothing in this chapter shall preclude any person from constructing a building or structure on real property owned by such person which is intended upon completion for use or occupancy solely by that person and his or her family, firm, or corporation and its employees, and not for use by the general public and not offered for sale or lease. In so doing, such person may act as his or her own contractor personally providing direct supervision and management of all work not performed by licensed contractors.

However, if, under this subsection, the person or his or her family, firm, or corporation has previously sold or transferred a building or structure which had been constructed by such person acting without a licensed residential or general contractor within the prior 24-month period, starting from the date on which a certificate of occupancy was issued for such building or structure, then such person may not, under this subsection, construct another separate building or structure without having first obtained on his or her own behalf an appropriate residential or general contractor license or having engaged such a duly licensed contractor to perform such work to the extent required under this chapter, or it shall be presumed that the person, firm, or corporation did not intend such building solely for occupancy by that person and his or her family, firm, or corporation.

Further, such person may not delegate the responsibility to directly supervise and manage all or any part of the work relating thereto to any other person unless that person is licensed under this chapter and the work being performed is within the scope of that person's license. In any event, however, all such work must be done in conformity with all other applicable provisions of this title, the rules and regulations of the board and division involved, and any applicable county or municipal resolutions, ordinances, codes, permitting, or inspection requirements.


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By LP in Auburn, GA on 9/19/2009


I am pretty sure  I do not need to be licensed. To be licensed requires two exams, probably not hard why take them if I do not need to.


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By Bettie in Harlem, GA on 9/19/2009


There are several exemptions under the contractor license, detailed in O.C.G.A§ 43-41-17(a) through 43-41-17(n).  This is all you need.  Take this to your planner and do a conference call with the state if necessary.  What county are you building in?

Owner Provision—O.C.G.A. §43-41-17 allows for an owner to construct a building or structure on his own property, as long as the structure will only be occupied by the persons, “family, firm or corporation and its employees, and not for use by the general public and not offered for sale or lease… However, if… the person or his or her family, firm or corporation has previously sold or transferred a building or structure which had been constructed by such person acting without a licensed residential or general contractor within the prior 24-month period, starting from the date on which a certificate of occupancy was issued for such building or structure, then such person may not… construct another separate building without having first obtained on his or her own behalf an appropriate residential or general contractor license.” Also, an owner cannot hire someone to manage construction of a building on his behalf, unless that person is a licensed residential or general contractor.


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By LP in Auburn, GA on 9/20/2009


Auburn, GA in Barrow County.
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