A residential building permit is required for the following:
- Accessory structures, i.e., detached garages, gazebos, pergolas, sheds larger than 12 feet in any dimension.
- Any structural work
- Decks and porches
- Fences over 6 feet on height (need to double check with inspections on this)
- Foundation work
- New dwellings, including accessory dwelling units
- Remodels, i.e., adding, moving, or removing of any walls or changing use of existing space, including the finishing or upfit of any unfinished space
- Retaining walls more than 4’ high
- Roof replacement
If the work costs $30,000 or more, the work must be done by a licensed general contractor
Any work that is greater than $15,000 requires a building permit.
The following work is exempt from a building permit as long as the construction cost is less than $15,000.
- Cosmetic work
- Fences under 6’ high
- Siding replacement
- Cabinet repair or replacement
- Roof shingles
- Satellite dishes
- Sheds smaller than 12’in every dimension
- Stone walls
- Window or door replacement
Sub Permits are required for the following plumbing and electrical items:
- Change of electrical service
- Geothermal wells (also requires a zoning permit)
- Installation, extension, or general repair of any plumbing system
- Installation, extension, alteration, or general repair of any heating or cooling system
- Installation, extension, alteration, or general repair of any electrical wiring devices, appliances, or equipment
- Sewer connections for an existing dwelling.
Sub Permit exemptions:
- Replacement of a water heater subject to G.S. 160A-417(a)(2)
- The repair or replacement of electrical lighting fixtures or devices or for the electrical connection for a replacement water heater.
Water Heaters have their own requirements. This is what DOES NOT require a permit:
- The work is restricted to a one or two family dwelling.
- The work has to be performed by a NC licensed plumber.
- The licensee must personally examine the work at completion.
- The licensee is required to ensure that a leak test has been performed on the gas piping.
- The energy use rate or thermal input is not greater than the water heater which is being replaced.
- The replacement is installed in accordance with the current building code.
- There is no change in fuel.
- There is no change in energy source.
- There is no change in the location.
- There is no change in the capacity.
- There is no change in routing or sizing of venting or piping.
Home owners also need a zoning permit for the following:
- Accessory structures
- Decks and porches
- Driveways, new and expansion of an existing driveway.
- New curb cuts require a driveway permit
- Fences over 6’high (excluding deer fencing)
- Irrigation systems (more than 2,000 sq. ft. of land disturbance)
- Landscaping (more than 2,000 sq. ft. of land disturbance)
- New dwellings, including accessory dwellings
- New utilities
- Parking areas
- Retaining walls (more than 2 feet high)
- Sheds less than 12’in every dimension
- Solar panels (excluding rooftop solar panels)
- Steps and stoops
- Stone walls
- Tree stump removal
The following work is EXEMPT from a Zoning Permit – As long as this work is not being done in a Special Protection Area (historic districts, neighborhood conservation districts, flood plain, Jordan buffer & resource conservation districts)
- Chicken coops
- Fences, including deer fencing, that is under 6’
- Free standing tree house
- Interior work
- Irrigation system (less than 2,000 sf of land disturbance)
- Landscaping (less than 2,000 sf of land disturbance)
- Play structures (moveable)
- Rooftop solar panels
- Retaining wall (less than 2 feet in height)
- Tree removal (no stump)
Any activity which increases surface coverage involves more than 2,000 sq ft of land disturbance or results in significant changes to hydrological conditions including surface, sub-surface runoff, etc.