The price of housing affects us all. A new home today is an older home later. Since home values should never decrease, the cost to remodel, add on, or even demolish and build new all increase the cost of housing over time.
Times like March, when the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate aren't in session, is when elected officials have more time to meet with constituents - including industry experts like the La Crosse Area Builders Association to learn how government impacts the cost of housing.
Engage Greater La Crosse already covered other issues impacting pricing such as:
- too few workers
- too little development happening
- too few supplies,
- inflation is at a 40-year high with no letup in sight, and
- long-term U.S. mortgage rates hit the highest level in two years.
With Representative Steve Doyle, the talk turned to process. Below is a paraphrasing of the conversation.
When does a contractor need to be licensed?
In Wisconsin, there is certification, not licensing. To become certified, you must take classes, then take more to keep your certification (continuing education).
Electricians have their own licensing.
Plumbers have their own licensing.
Can I just get my buddy to do a project?
If the project needs to have a building permit "pulled" with the city, town or village, then they must have a contractor license number. You can take out a permit as the homeowner, but beware, especially if the contractor asks you to do this. You will have to sign a one-page form acknowledging that if anything that goes wrong on-site, it will be your homeowner's insurance that covers it versus the contractor's insurance (if they have it).
What's the Role of Government?
- The State of Wisconsin requires contractors be certified (this was actually advocated for by the building industry to ensure all contractors were educated)
- The State creates and enforces the Uniform Dwelling Code to ensure housing is safe. It is a balance of cost and safety created.
- Local municipalities are to ensure that when building permits are taken out / "pulled", the contractor's certification is current and recorded.
- Local inspectors enforce the Uniform Dwelling Code set by the state (and based off of federal code)