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The Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry establishes the rules for licensing of contractors. Most contractors are required to be licensed, however, there are some exceptions. You should ask your contractor if they are licensed. If a contractor asks you to apply for the building permit, chances are they are not licensed because we verify contractor licensing for all building permit applications. Resident homeowners do not have to be licensed to perform work on their own home. If you have questions about contractor licensing, contact the Department of Commerce at 651-539-1500.
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For the most part, property owners may perform building related trades on property they own and occupy. Property owners may also personally perform mechanical, plumbing, and electrical on property they own and occupy.
Exceptions: Rental Properties - Owners may perform building trade work. However, all plumbing, electrical & mechanical work shall be performed by a licensed contractor.
Intend to Sell Property - Owner must be state licensed if performing work on more than one property in a two-year period. All other trades require a licensed contractor.
Tenants in a Commercial Space - Tenants may perform building trade work as long as they have written permission from the property owner. All other trades require a licensed contractor.
For more information on who needs a license, please visit the Minnesota State Department of Labor & Industry website's licensing information page.
If you are planning improvements to your property and do not want to do the work yourself, the following suggestions can help you select a contractor:
The permit holder is the responsible party to ensure the Building Code is followed.
If you hired a contractor, they are responsible for compliance with the state building code and they should be licensed by the state (when required) to perform the work. If there is ever a question as to whether or not some aspect of a construction project complies with the code, the contractor is the responsible party.
If you are performing the work yourself, then you are the responsible party.
If you're planning to do any digging in connection with your building project, you must call Gopher State One Call at 800-252-1166 to arrange for utility companies to mark the buried utility lines in your yard. This service is free, but you should call at least 48 hours prior to digging. Learn more online at Gopher State One Call's website.
It is the property owners’ responsibility to determine where the property lines are. Property iron stakes (typically 36-inch-long rods) are placed at the corners of the lot usually at or below grade, and sometimes can be found using a metal detector. The city does not provide surveying services. Approximate property lines and dimensions can be found on the county’s website. A property survey may also be on file at the City of Elk River. Please contact the Building Safety Division at 763-635-1060 or Building@ElkRiverMN.gov for assistance.