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FAQ about Building

    1.  When is a Building Permit required?
    2.  How is an inspection requested with the City of Lincoln's Building Inspection Department?
    3.  What happens if a project is started before a permit is obtained?
    4.  What about curb and gutter alterations?
    5.  Do I need a permit to work on my own property?
    6.  Can I work on my own electrical, HVAC, and/or plumbing system without hiring a licensed professional?
    7.  Can I work on my own natural/propane gas system without hiring a licensed professional?
    8.  Are there any special licensing and/or permit requirements for contractors?
    9.  Can I build my own residence, acting as my own Home Builder?
    10.  Can I build my own commercial building, acting as my own General contractor?
    11.  Can a home builder work on commercial property or a general contractor work on a residence?
    12.  I have submitted a business license application to operate in Lincoln and have been told that I will have to have the building inspected prior to the issuance of the Business License. Why?
    13.  What Building & Property Codes have been adopted and are enforced by the City of Lincoln?
 
    Q.  When is a Building Permit required?
    A.  A building permit is required on all non-federal new construction, remodeling , and/or repair projects.

    Q.  How is an inspection requested with the City of Lincoln's Building Inspection Department?
    A.  To schedule an inspection, call 205-763-4005.  When requesting an inspection provide the permit number and address. All inspections must be requested 24 hours in advance. 

    Q.  What happens if a project is started before a permit is obtained?
    A.  The first offense will result in a double permit fee with all penalties as set by law for any violations thereafter.

    Q.  What about curb and gutter alterations?
    A.  When work is to occur where the City’s curb and gutter will need to be cut or altered and/or when the roadway needs to be cut for utility repairs, the Engineering Department requires a curb cut permit and/or street cut permit. Please contact the Engineering Department with questions concerning the requirements and fees pertaining to these permits.

    Q.  Do I need a permit to work on my own property?
    A.  Depends. If a residential property owner(s) of record (the person(s) listed on a property’s deed) is painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, installing cabinets, countertops, or similar finish work themselves on their own residential property without hiring any of the work out to independent contractors, a permit is not required. Any work outside the limits of the above listed work will need a permit on residential projects. For commercial projects, there are no exclusions and any work will need to be permitted, regardless if the work is being performed by a contractor or the owner(s).

    Q.  Can I work on my own electrical, HVAC, and/or plumbing system without hiring a licensed professional?
    A.  Yes. State laws allows property owners to work on their own electrical, HVAC, and plumbing system. However, only the property owner(s) of record can perform the work, with no help or assistance from anyone other than a licensed contractor. Permits and inspections will still be required, no matter who performs the work.

    Q.  Can I work on my own natural/propane gas system without hiring a licensed professional?
    A.  No State laws does not allow property owners to work on their own natural/propane gas system. Work must be performed by a licensed gas fitter, however the State code does allow certain exemptions for Public Utilities and Maintenance Engineers. Permits and inspections are required.

    Q.  Are there any special licensing and/or permit requirements for contractors?
    A.  Yes. At a minimum, all companies or persons who perform any work, regardless of the cost, must have both their Lincoln Business License and Proof of Liability insurance. Please refer to the “Applications & Permits” page for work requiring licensing by a State Board.

    Q.  Can I build my own residence, acting as my own Home Builder?
    A.  Yes, with certain exceptions. A property owner can act as their own Home Builder and build their own residence. However, per the Alabama Home Builders Licensure Law, the property owner must fill out a sworn statement of understanding that the residence cannot be sold or offered for sale within one (1) year of completion. For more information, please contact the Alabama Home Builders Licensure Board. Plan, permit, and inspection requirements are the same whether the residence is constructed by the owner or a Licensed Home Builder.  However, there are strict rules pertaining to those superintending the work, as well as contract amounts for contractors working directly for an owner.  For more detailed requirements, contact the Alabama General Contractors Licensure Board Rules and Regs. 230-X-1-,07 

    Q.  Can I build my own commercial building, acting as my own General contractor?
    A.  Yes, with certain exceptions. A property owner can act as their own General contractor and build their own commercial building. However, there are strict rules pertaining to those superintending the work, as well as contract amounts for contractors working directly for an owner. For more detailed requirements, please contact the Alabama General Contractors Licensure Board. Rules and Regs. 230-X-1-.07
Plan, permit, and inspection requirements are the same whether the commercial building is constructed by the owner or a licensed General contractor.

 



    Q.  Can a home builder work on commercial property or a general contractor work on a residence?
    A.  Possibly. A person or firm that possesses a license issued through the Alabama Home Builders Licensure Board can perform work on a commercial property, but their contract amount cannot be $50,000.00 or greater. A person or firm that possesses a license issued through the Alabama Contractors Licensure Board can work on residential properties, but their contract amount cannot be $10,000.00 or greater, unless their license was issued prior to January 1, 1992 and was issued with the “Building Construction” category. For answers to specific questions, please contact the respective licensure boards.

    Q.  I have submitted a business license application to operate in Lincoln and have been told that I will have to have the building inspected prior to the issuance of the Business License. Why?
    A.  The City of Lincoln requires that both our Building Inspector and the Fire Marshal perform a business license inspection on a building where business activities are proposed prior to the issuance of a business license for the on-going business. The purpose of the inspection is to ensure that there are no life-safety issues within the building and that the building has been properly maintained and is safe for occupancy. If there are issues noted during the inspection that needs to be corrected, you will be given an inspection report detailing the issues. Please remember that it is the license applicant’s (business owner) responsibility to contact the person(s) that performed the inspection to notify them that the noted issues have been resolved and the building is ready for re-inspection.

    Q.  What Building & Property Codes have been adopted and are enforced by the City of Lincoln?
    A.  The City of Lincoln currently has adopted the 2011 National Electric Code (NFPA 70) and the 2009 Editions of the following codes:
International Building Code
International Residential Code
International Existing Building Code
International Fire Code
International Property Maintenance Code
International Plumbing Code
International Fuel Gas Code
International Mechanical Code