Do you really need to pull permits?
Replacing HVAC equipment in the Greater Kansas City area requires the pulling of a permit. At Santa Fe Air, we are licensed HVAC contractor in Kansas City who are well-versed in the process of pulling permits.
So let’s talk a little more about the importance of mechanical permits and inspections, how to verify a licensed HVAC contractor in Kansas City, and other important information related to licensing, certifications, and permits.
Why is pulling a permit important?
As we mentioned above, it’s important to pull a permit for the replacement of HVAC equipment in the Kansas City area because it is required by municipal law. Mechanical permits exist for your safety! HVAC installations involve natural gas, high voltage electricity, and venting. Any work of this type should be done by licensed professionals with a permit and should be inspected for safety.
You may be thinking “it’s just a piece of paper, a permit can’t matter that much.” Let’s look into it a little more, shall we?
You could literally die.
We’re not even being hyperbolic here. Cutting corners by allowing someone to install a furnace when they’re not licensed, certified, or permitted to do so is asking for danger. When you choose a licensed HVAC technician, you know without a doubt they have training, including ongoing education, and that their skills and knowledge have been tested and credentialed.
An improperly vented furnace (or any improperly installed heat source of any kind) can create a buildup of carbon monoxide that can kill you. Carbon monoxide, or CO, is known as “the silent killer” and claims around 400 American lives each year.
It WILL cost you more money in the long run.
Even if you manage to save a few dollars by having an unlicensed contractor install HVAC equipment and they manage to do it without causing significant damage to your home or well-being, it’s probably going to come back and bite you someday. Not to mention, an HVAC installer in Kansas City who lacks proper credentials is most likely not insured. If an uninsured installer gets injured while working on your home, you could be liable for Workman’s Compensation!
If you want to be able to make an insurance claim, sell your home, or use a warranty, you’ll be out of luck. Imagine needing to make a claim on your homeowner’s insurance and finding that they require proof of permits for the new HVAC installation in your home. Are you willing to pay out of pocket instead of claim it? If you need to sell your home someday, it will have to undergo an inspection and the building inspector will find the code infractions. You will be liable for corrections before you’re able to sell the home, costing you more in the long run. Also, is it worth voiding your warranty to save a few bucks now?
Remember: Permits are required
If every community in the Greater Kansas City Area requires mechanical contractors to pull permits to replace HVAC equipment, why is this a process so many companies skip? We ask ourselves that very same question! As licensed and insured contractors, we know how to adhere to the legal processes, protecting your health and future.
The following are the type of excuses a lot of businesses have for avoiding the proper steps of pulling permits:
- It’s too expensive because companies need a business license in each city they work in to pull permits. This isn’t a terrible point, because there are more than 150 cities in the Kansas City metro area alone! That is A LOT of towns and each of them collects a fee for the business licence AND the permit.
- Licensing requires continuing education each year, which can also get expensive. It takes a lot of time and dedication to the trade to maintain a license in good standing.
- In addition to the license requirements, the contractor must also be insured and knowledgeable about the national mechanical codes to pull a permit.
- Third party inspection is required to ensure codes were met, so once you’ve pulled a permit to perform a job you’re committed to doing it RIGHT without cutting corners.
We totally understand that this may seem like a lot. When you’re dealing with things that can pose a danger to human lives, these types of stringent requirements are needed! Pulling permits and adhering to strict standards keeps us all safer.
At Santa Fe Air, we hold master mechanical and master electrician licenses. Without those, we couldn’t pull building permits! The bottom line is you don’t want to trust anyone who is trying to get around the appropriate licensing and permitting processes.
Trust the licensed professionals at Santa Fe Air!
While some contractors may not welcome inspections, we know investing in the proper methods and processes helps us stand out from the competition to our clients. After all, who would you rather have install your HVAC system: a company willing to endanger people’s lives with improper installation, or a company who has taken the time to do things right?
How to verify a licensed HVAC contractor in Kansas City
While licensing at a state level is not required for electricians in either Kansas or Missouri, the cities that make up the KC Metro do have requirements for licensing. Each state has sources of verification for licensing. You can also start by checking with the HVAC contractor you’re interested in hiring!
You can also do the following:
- Ask for a driver’s license as well as the contractor’s license number or for a copy of the contractor’s license and then compare the names.
- Ask to see proof of liability insurance, as they will be able to verify the HVAC contractor license.
- Johnson County has an online form that will help you find out if a contractor is licensed in the county.
Following a thorough process for permits
All HVAC projects require a permit and formal inspection at various phases of construction before the work can be approved. These requirements apply not only to new structures, but also to any work that physically changes existing structures and any work regulated by City building, plumbing, and electrical codes, the zoning ordinance, and all other ordinances.
Understand the scope
The first step in obtaining an electrical, plumbing or heating and ventilating permit depends on the nature of the work and who will do it. If you own a single-family home, you are authorized to obtain permits for any work on the premises if you occupy the dwelling and perform the work yourself. Anyone else requesting permits to do electrical, plumbing or heating and ventilating work must be licensed contractors.
Two-family dwellings, multifamily dwellings, and all other commercial buildings require that any electrical, plumbing, and heating and ventilating permits are issued only to licensed contractors.
It may be necessary to submit plans for review and approval, depending on the scope of the work. Permits for work on existing single-family and two-family dwellings and for minor installations in commercial buildings may be issued with only a description of the work.
The need for additional permits and plans
Additional permits for work on new single-family and two-family dwellings are usually issued with a description of the work after the building permit has been issued.
Most other permits for plumbing, mechanical, and electrical work on multifamily dwellings and commercial buildings will be issued only after the building plans have been approved and the building permit issued. Building permits will be issued once the plans meet the various requirements of city departments involved in the review process.
Paying the permit fees
Once plans are approved, the applicant may obtain the building permit by paying a permit fee (or the remainder of the permit fee for projects with valuations of $100,000 or more) based on the total cost of construction.
City inspectors will inspect the project throughout the construction phase as required by code. Inspection requests should be made to the local Inspection Division.
When the completed project complies with the approved plans and all applicable building codes, a certificate of occupancy will be issued or a written approval of the work will be provided. New or remodeled structures cannot be occupied until a certificate/approval has been issued.
HVAC certification information
At a state level, neither Kansas or Missouri requires a license to work as an HVAC contractor. That doesn’t make it a good idea to hire HVAC contractors who are not licensed. Just because the state government does not require licensed electricians or HVAC technicians, counties and municipalities have their own laws and regulations.
License versus certification
Certified and licensed are terms that often get used interchangeably, but they are distinctly different. Certification shows you have attained a certain level of knowledge or achievement in your line of work. Licensure, on the other hand, proves that you are licensed to work in your profession. It’s a legal designation with a clear set of requirements based on the line of work in question.
When you’re hiring an HVAC contractor, it’s always safest to go with one who is licensed.
Example of HVAC license requirements
Because most towns and counties require licensed electricians and contractors regardless of state law, it is helpful to know what exactly it means to be licensed. For HVAC technicians in Missouri who hold a state license, for example, they must meet the following criteria based on the level of their license.
The following are the requirements for HVAC Contractors:
- 18 years of age
- Two years of working experience with HVAC equipment
- Completion of the HVAC program
- Missouri Driving License
- Pass the HVAC contractor certification exam
The following are the requirement for HVAC journeyman contractors:
- Completion of HVAC program
- Two years of experience working with HVAC equipment
- 18 years of age and a high school diploma
- Pass HVAC journeyman certification exam
For EPA HVAC Contractors:
- High school diploma
- Two years of working experience with HVAC equipment.
- Take EPA Type I and Type II exams
- Currently enrolled in any HVAC program
- 18 years of age
Learn more from licensed HVAC contractors in Kansas City with Santa Fe Air
Licenses, permits, and certifications exist for our safety. When you’re having any HVAC work done at your home, make sure you’re investing in the safety of your family by only hiring licensed HVAC contractors like those at Santa Fe Air!