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Consumers wishing to repair or improve their property should become familiar with the City of Lubbock's permit requirements. Building permits are required whenever anyone, within the city limits, wishes to erect, construct, enlarge, alter, repair, re-roof, remove, convert, demolish any structure or install, repair, replace any driveway, sidewalk or carport. Electrical permits are required to perform any electrical work and must be performed by licensed insured electricians. An exception is a homeowner who may perform electrical work in his residence which he owns and occupies as his homestead, the homeowner still must get the building permit. The same applies to plumbing, heating and air conditioning work. Building, plumbing, electrical, mechanical and roofing permits may be obtained from the Building Inspection Department located at 1625 13th St., Room 106. You may call the Building Inspection Office at 806.767.2088 and tell them what type permit you are seeking. To obtain a building permit, you must identify and describe the work to be covered by the permit; describe the land on which the proposed work is to be done, by lot, block, tract, house and street address or similar description; provide plans or specifications; and state the cost of the proposed work. Make sure that if you use a contractor, that he/she obtains the proper permits. Choosing a remodeling or building contractor can be a major undertaking. Consumers can, with a little care, insure satisfaction though by taking care in shopping for a contractor. Ask for recommendations from friends and associates. Get at least three bids for the job that you wish to have done. Make sure the contractor is bonded and has workmen's compensation insurance (unless he is self-employed). Make sure he will take care of any needed permits. Make sure the materials, costs, etc. are all written in the contract. Remodeling your home can cost more than it does to purchase a new car. However, most consumers spend less time selecting a remodeling contractor than they do choosing a new car. If you plan to spend a great deal of money remodeling your home, you should be very selective in deciding which contractor to hire, be familiar with area building codes and standards, and work with the contractor throughout the entire home improvement project. Verify the name, address, telephone number, credentials and references of the contractor. Make sure that he/she is licensed, insured, and/or bonded. Obtain at least three bids for the project and do some comparison shopping in choosing the contractor. Check with the building and zoning authorities in your area to determine what permits you need to proceed with your project. Include all the terms, conditions, warranties, and oral promises concerning the project in a written contract. Don't sign the agreement until you have completely read and understood all the provisions. Don't submit to high pressure sales tactics by a contractor or sales representative. Don't sign a completion certificate for the job before it has been inspected and properly completed as agreed to in the contract. Don't pay for the entire job in advance or pay cash to the salesperson or contractor. Additional Resources: Texas Residential Construction Commission E 14th St., Suite 200 PO Box 13144 Austin, Texas 78711 512.305.8722 877.651.8722 http://www.trcc.state.tx.us West Texas Home Builders Association at 806.745.4188