For Homeowners

Many home improvement projects require a permit before beginning work. The permitting and inspection processes allow the town to ensure that projects are done according to the permit, meets minimum code requirements, buildings are well constructed and safe for occupants.

If square footage is added to your home without a permit and later you want to sell your home, the project will have to be permitted and inspected before you can close on the sale. This may require the finished work to be torn out so that the rough-in and framing can be properly inspected. This can be a costly mistake that you are strongly encouraged to avoid.

The North Carolina State Building Code states, "No person, firm or corporation shall erect, construct, enlarge, install, alter, repair, move, improve, remove, convert or demolish any building, structure, or service system without first obtaining a permit for such from the Inspections Department having jurisdiction."

State law requires that permits be obtained before:

  • Building – The construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, movement to another site, removal, or demolition of any building

    • New home construction

    • Finishing unfinished space (attic or basement renovation)

    • Room addition

    • Deck

    • Gazebo

    • Screened porch

    • Covered porch

    • Sunroom

    • Shed greater than 12’ in any dimension (For smaller outbuildings, permit information is available from the Department of Planning & Zoning.)

    • Detached garage

    • Carport

    • Pergola or trellis only if attached to the main dwelling

    • Retaining wall (4’ of unbalanced fill, crosses property line(s), or supports another structure)

    • Swimming pool, Hot Tub, Spa

    • Installing new windows and or skylights

    • Stairs, handrails or guardrails (interior and/or exterior)

    • Solar or photovoltaic equipment

    • Addition of roofing

  • Plumbing – The addition or change in the design of plumbing or repair that changes in size or capacity. *(Exception: Water Heaters in one- and two-family dwellings when there is no change in the location, size and heating capacity, fuel or energy source or routing or sizing of the vent or plumbing piping, and the work is done by a licensed Plumbing Contractor)

    • Sinks or Lavatories
    • Toilets, Bidets, Urinals
    • Sewer lines
    • Ice maker water supply line
    • Thermal expansion tank
    • Backflow device
    • Pressure-reducing valve
    • Water lines
    • Hose bibs
    • Water heater *(see exception above)

  • Electrical – The installation, alteration, repair, replacement or relocation of any electrical material, appliances or equipment

    • Install or alter any permanent wiring or electrical device

    • Installing ceiling fan

    • Run additional wiring

    • Installing new electrical outlet or light fixture

    • Installing receptacle for garage-door opener

    • Convert from fuse box to circuit breaker

    • Water heater *(see exception under Plumbing section)

  • Mechanical/ HVAC – The installation, extension, or general repair of any heating or cooling equipment system

    • Heating ventilation

    • Air conditioning system

    • Installing natural gas line

    • Installing vent

    • Kitchen hoods

    • Water heater *(see exception under Plumbing section)

 Helpful Links for Alterations, Additions and Decks:
Alterations, Additions, Decks - Information
Info from the Dept of Planning & Zoning about sheds, pools, driveway widening and fences

Appendix M (Wood Decks)

Wall Bracing Checklist for Plans
Carbon Monoxide Alarm Information

Click here for Residential forms and applications.

For more information, contact the Code Enforcement Department at (919) 557-3915.