Licensing Information

When is a license required?

In general, a person who contracts with a property owner to do residential construction or remodeling on a project whose total value is $600 or more, including material and labor, is required to be licensed as either a Residential Builder or a Maintenance & Alteration Contractor.

What's the difference between a Residential Builder license and a Residential Maintenance & Alteration Contractor license?

The Residential Builder may build a new home from the ground up or may do any kind of repairs.  The builder may contract for the whole job, but will have to subcontract for plumbing, electrical, and mechanical (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) work.

The Residential Maintenance & Alteration (M&A) Contractor is licensed to perform only specific trades and services and may accept contracts only in the services for which they are licensed (whether or not the building is new construction or remodeling).

What trades must be performed by a licensee?

Each Residential Builder receives a wall license and a pocket card showing that he or she is properly licensed.  For the Residential Maintenance & Alteration Contractor, the pocket card contains only a letter code representing the trade or trades in which that contractor is licensed.  The M&A trades and their equivalent letter codes are:

  • Carpentry (A)
  • Concrete (B)
  • Excavation (D)
  • Insulation Work (G)
  • Masonry (I)
  • Painting & Decorating (J)
  • Siding (K)
  • Roofing (M)
  • Screen & Storm Sash (N)
  • Gutters (O)
  • Tile & Marble (P)
  • House Wrecking (R)
  • Swimming Pools (S)
  • Basement Waterproofing (T)

Do I need a license to do . . . . ?

Generally it is suggested you look at the definition of a Residential Builder and the list of specialty trades for a Residential Maintenance & alteration contractor to see what is definitely required to be licensed.  You may wish to review Article 24 of the Occupational Code and read sections 339.2401, 339.2403, and 339.2404.

However, over the years some specific services have been removed from the licensing law or rules.  Here is a basic list; call the Builders Unit at 517-241-9288 for items not shown.

LICENSE REQUIRED ACTIVITIES

NO LICENSE REQUIRED ACTIVITIES

  • New construction and/or remodeling of homes, apartment buildings, condominiums, townhouses, etc.
  • Carpentry
  • Concrete
  • Excavation
  • Insulation
  • Masonry
  • Painting & Decorating
  • Siding
  • Roofing
  • Screen & Storm Sash
  • Gutters
  • Tile & Marble
  • House Wrecking
  • Swimming Pools
  • Replacement windows/doors/garage doors
  • Laying wood floors
  • Basement Waterproofing
  • Drywall
  • Fences
  • Awnings
  • Sewer and septic, water lines, sprinklers
  • Pavers without mortar
  • Asphalt paving
  • House moving
  • Carpeting and vinyl floors (not wood)
  • Plaster and Lath

In continuous efforts to improve customer service, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has  moved the licensing of residential builders and M&A contractors from the Bureau of Professional Licensing (BPL) to the Bureau of Construction Codes (BCC).  This move took effect on August 27, 2018.   BPL and BCC have been working together to make sure that the transition is as smooth as possible.

For help from the Bureau of Construction Codes you can visit www.michigan.gov/bcc or call 517-241-9316.  You can also reach BCC by e-mail at LARA-BCC-Licensing@michigan.gov.