Last time we reviewed one of the 3 main types of SC General Contractor Licenses available, the Residential Contractor License. Today, we are going to look at the intermediate of these, the SC Limited Building Contractor License. Remember, each of the 3 license types has a different method of application, requirements and exam.
The license is issued by the South Carolina Contractor’s Licensing Board Dept. of Labor Licensing and Regulation. Anyone performing work on commercial or residential buildings, that do not exceed three stories in height must be licensed as a Limited Building Contractor. For this license, unlike the residential license, you need pass the Trade exam and Business Law exam prior to submitting your application to the Licensing Board. You will need to submit a registration form to PSI Exam Services. Once registered, PSI will send you a “Registration Confirmation Notice” good for one year. This allows you to take both the SC Limited Building Contractor Exam and the SC Business Management and Law for Commercial Contractors Exam. You are allowed no more than 2 attempts within the one year period, and thereafter only once in 6 months. However, you may take the Business Management and Law for Commercial Contractors on an unlimited basis for the year period. Once you pass these 2 exams you can submit your application to the State. Please note, there are minimum experience requirements. With your application you must submit an experience affidavit showing at least 2 years commercial experience within the past five years, for the classification in which you are seeking to be licensed.
The exams are both open books exams. They can be scheduled and taken the same day or at different times. You do not have to take them in any particular order. The Limited Builder Exam consists of 8 books; the Business Management and Law exam is based on 1 book. These books were used to prepare the questions you will most likely see on the exam. However, it is important to note, that exams may also contain questions based on trade knowledge and general industry practices.
The eight SC Limited Building Contractor Books are as follows: The International Building Code written by the International Code Council, OSHA 29 CFR 1926 Safety Regulations for the Construction Industry, Carpentry and Building Construction by John L. Feirer & Mark D. Feirer, The Contractor’s Guide to Quality Concrete by the American Concrete Institute, Modern Masonry – Brick, Block and Stone by Kicklighter, Roofing Construction & Estimating by Daniel Atcheson, Pipe & Excavation Contracting by Dave Roberts, and Handling & Erection of Steel Joists & Joist Girders (TD9) by the Steel Joist Institute. The Law exam book is the South Carolina Guide to Business Law and Project Management – Commercial Contractors Edition by NASCLA. This book is also commonly referred to as the SC NASCLA Commercial Contractor book. All books are allowed in the exam center and they are allowed to be highlighted, tabbed and indexed, but not written in. All tabs must be permanent and tear the page if removed.
The exam is 80 questions and you have four hours to take the exam. The Law exam is 50 questions and you have two hours to take that exam.
Like the Residential exam, it is a common misconception that because the exam is open book that little to no preparation in necessary. Many contractors think they can go in the exam center and what they do not know from experience they can find in the books. This is WRONG. First of all the exam is book based, so even contractors with years of experience have trouble with this test. Secondly, there are over 3,500 pages in the reference books and if you do not know where to find the information YOU WILL run out of time. Lastly, you will find that there are also trick questions that will try to confuse you with wordy scenarios.
It is important to consider a SC Limited Building Contractor Seminar so that you do not waste your time, effort or money. We offer three different programs to help you pass your contractor exam, all catering to how you prefer to learn. You can attend a live seminar for classroom type instruction, purchase an at-home study course to prepare on your own time at your own pace, or sign up for a Deluxe package which incorporates both. We also offer all the books permitted in the exam center. You can purchase these individually or in conveniently packaged sets. We are South Carolina’s leading Contractor Exam Prep Program, call us today at 704-663-5880.
Next time we will take a detailed look at the SC Unlimited Building Contractor License and Exam.