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How to Become a Licensed Michigan Residential Builder or Maintenance & Alterations Contractor

Every Michigan contracting company must employ at least one licensed builder. Obtaining a Residential Builder or Maintenance & Alterations license is the fastest way to increase your earnings and a logical step towards owning your own business. The steps to obtaining a license are the same whether your goal is to become a Residential Builder or a Maintenance & Alterations Contractor.

How to Obtain a Michigan Builder/Maintenance & Alterations License

  1. Complete an approved 60-hour Prelicensure Course
  2. Complete a license application and pay a $195 fee to the State of Michigan
    Approval takes approximately 2-4 weeks
  3. Register with PSI for the $111 Builder Exam – Free Exam Prep is provided to LicensetoBuild students
    Call (800) 733-9267 to register.


What can I expect from the 60-hour Prelicensure Course?
The 60-hour course consists of 8 sections, each designed to provide the information necessary to pass the state exam and follow building codes.

  1. Business of Building
  2. Marketing for Contractors
  3. Project Management
  4. Contracts and Risk Management
  5. Construction Safety
  6. Overview of Building Trades
  7. Building Green
  8. Residential Code Review

The 60-hour package also includes FREE EXAM PREP!

Where can I take the Michigan Residential Builder/Maintenance and Alterations Exam?
Exams are given in Dearborn, Gaylord, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Marquette, and Southfield.

What can I expect from the Michigan Builder/Maintenance & Alterations Exam?
The exam will consist of two parts:

  • Part 1: Business/Law: 50 questions | 75 minutes | must answer 36 correctly
  • Part 2: Trades/Practices:
    • Residential Builders: 110 questions | 150 minutes | you must answer 73 correctly
    • Maintenance & Alteration Trades Exam: Exams vary by trade, between 25 & 50 questions.

What is the difference between a Residential Builder License and a Maintenance & Alterations License?

  • Residential builders are licensed to build a new home from the ground up and do repairs.
  • Maintenance & Alterations Contractors are licensed to perform specific trades only. You may become licensed in more than one trade but you will have to take an exam for each. Trades include:
    • Carpentry (A)
    • Concrete (B)
    • 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)

How do I obtain a Michigan commercial builder license?
Residential builders are able to do commercial work by having a licensed architect approve commercial blueprints.



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