Choosing A Classification For Your Virginia Contractor's License

Updated: Aug 27

When setting out to obtain a Virginia Contractor's License, you will need to determine your "specialty" or license classification. The following are the definitions of the license classifications:


"Commercial building contractors" (Abbr: CBC) means those individuals whose contracts include construction, remodeling, repair, improvement, removal, or demolition on real property owned, controlled, or leased by another person of commercial, industrial, institutional, governmental, and accessory use buildings or structures. The CBC classification does not provide for electrical, plumbing, HVAC, or gas fitting services and does not allow construction, repair, or improvement, of dwellings and townhouses as defined in the USBC. If the CBC performs specialty services other than those listed in this definition, all required specialty designations shall be obtained. The CBC may act as a prime contractor and contract with subcontractors to perform work not permitted by the CBC license. The commercial building classification includes but is not limited to the functions carried out by the following specialties for contracts of commercial, institutional, governmental, and accessory use buildings or structures, including multi-family housing:


Billboard/sign contracting

Commercial improvement contracting

Concrete contracting

Farm improvement contracting

Industrialized building contracting

Landscape service contrasting

Marine facility contracting

Masonry contracting

Painting and wallcovering contracting

Recreational facility contracting

Roofing contracting

Swimming pool contracting


"Electrical contractors" (Abbr: ELE) means those individuals whose contracts include the construction, repair, maintenance, alteration, or removal of electrical systems. This classification provides for all work covered by the electrical provisions of the UBC including electronic/communication service contracting (ESC) and fire alarm systems contracting (FAS)specialties. A firm holding an ELE license is responsible for meeting all applicable individual license and certification regulations.


"Highway/heavy contractors" (Abbr: H/H) means those individuals whose contracts include construction, repair, improvement, or demolition of the following:



Bridges

Dams

Drainage systems

Foundations

Parking lots

Public transit systems

Railroads

Roads

Runways

Streets

Structural signs and lights

Tanks


The functions carried out by these contractors include but are not limited to the following:


Building demolition

Clearing

Concrete work

Excavating

Grading

Nonwater well drilling

Paving

Pile driving

Road marking

Steel erection


These contractors also install, maintain, or dismantle the following:

1. Power systems for the generation and primary and secondary distribution of electric current ahead of the customer's meter; 2. Pumping stations and treatment plants; 3. Telephone, telegraph, or signal systems for public utilities; and 4. Water, gas, and sewer connections to residential, commercial, and industrial sites, subject to local ordinances. This classification may also install backflow prevention devices incidental to work in this classification when the installer has received formal vocational training approved by the board that included instruction in the installation of backflow prevention devices.


"HVAC contractors" (Abbr: HVA) means those individuals whose work includes the installation, alteration, repair, or maintenance of heating systems, ventilating systems, cooling systems, steam and hot water heaters, heating systems, boilers, process piping, and mechanical refrigeration systems, including tanks incidental to the system. This classification does not provide for fire suppression installations, sprinkler system installations, or gas piping. A firm holding an HVAC license is responsible for meeting all applicable individual license and certification regulations. This classification may install backflow prevention devices incidental to work in this classification.


"Plumbing contractors" (Abbr: PLB) means those individuals whose contracts include the installation, maintenance, extension, or alteration, or removal of all piping, fixtures, appliances, and appurtenances in connection with any of the following:


Backflow prevention devices

Boilers

Hot water baseboard heating systems

Hot water heaters

Hydronic systems

Process piping

Public/private water supply systems within or adjacent to any building, structure, or conveyance

Sanitary or storm drainage facilities

Steam heating systems

Storage tanks incidental to the installation of related systems

Venting systems related to plumbing


These contractors also install, maintain, extend, or alter the following:


Liquid waste systems

Sewerage systems

Storm water systems

Water supply systems


This classification does not provide for (i) gas piping or (ii) the function of fire sprinkler contracting except for sprinklers that are tied into the domestic water supply. A firm holding a PLB license is responsible for meeting all applicable individual license and certification regulations. The classification may install sprinkler systems permitted to be designed in accordance with the plumbing provisions of the USBC when the installer has received formal vocational training approved by the board that included instruction of installation of sprinkler systems.


"Residential building contractors" (Abbr: RBC) means those individuals whose contracts include construction, remodeling, repair, improvement, removal, or demolition on real property owned, controlled, or leased by another person of dwellings and townhouses, as defined in the USBC, including accessory buildings or structures on such property. The RBC classification does not provide for electrical, plumbing, HVAC, or gas fitting services and does not allow construction, removal,repair, or improvement to commercial, industrial, institutional, or governmental use structures outside of dwellings and townhouses, as defined by the USBC. The residential building classification includes but is not limited to the functions carried out by the following specialties for contracts of dwellings and townhouses, as defined by the USBC, and related accessory use buildings or structures:


Concrete contracting

Home improvement contracting

Industrialized building contracting

Landscape service contracting

Masonry contracting

Painting and wallcovering contracting

Roofing contracting

Swimming pool contracting


If you are applying for the Residential Building Contractor specialty, RBC, remember that AVAC offers an exam prep session, with highlighted and tabbed books, for the RBC Specialty Exam.



Note: "Specialty contractors" means those individuals whose contracts are for specialty services that do not generally fall within the scope of any other classification mentioned above.

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