The answer is almost always. A permit is required anytime work is done on a building or structure, or the systems serving the structure (including plumbing, mechanical and electrical wiring) with a few exceptions. In general, work on a one and two-family dwelling that is structural in nature or exceeds $15,000 in value will require a permit. The $15,000 exemption is not applicable to commercial or multi-family structures.
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 beginning these types of projects:
|No Permit Required|
|Constructing a deck, screened porch, sunroom, gazebo, retaining wall, sheds, etc. (also known as Accessory Structures)||Replacement of water heaters in one- and two-family dwellings when placed in the same location, using the same fuel source, and done by a licensed Plumbing Contractor|
Replacing an existing deck, steps and/or railings.
Replacing an air conditioning/heating system
|Replacement of non-structural cosmetic building elements such as: floor and wall coverings; moldings and trim; cabinets and casework; roof coverings with the same materials, etc.|
|Installing a swimming pool, hot tub, spa||Replacement of electrical fixtures and components when work is not done within the wall or ceiling cavity or behind the finished wall or ceiling surface|
Adding a ceiling fan (where one previously did not exist)
Kitchen, bathroom and other interior renovations involving structural/wall changes
|Replacement of plumbing fixtures when the work does not go beyond the trap seal|
Converting a porch to a sunroom (adding windows)
Siding and window replacement (provided the total value of the work exceeds $15,000)
|Installation of low voltage exterior landscape lighting|
These are examples but you are encouraged to contact the Planning and Inspections Department with any questions you may have at 252-354-3338. Our office is open:
- Monday through Friday
8 am to 5 pm