Do I Need a Permit?
This list pertains to building permits only. It does not account for non-building permits that other departments may require for your project (i.e. Zoning, etc.).
A building permit is required: If an individual or corporation is locating, erecting, constructing, enlarging, altering, repairing, demolishing, relocating, or changing occupancy of a structure.
A building permit is not required for:
- Nonstructural work where the cost is less than $15,000 in any single-family residence.
- Farm buildings outside the jurisdiction or municipality.
- Residential building structures (other than Decks and Gazebos) where no dimension exceeds 12 feet.
- The replacement of windows, doors, and exterior siding in residential structures.
- The replacement of pickets, railings, star treads, and decking of residential porches and exterior decks.
An electrical permit is required: If installation, extension, alteration, or general repair of any electrical wiring, devices, appliances, or equipment
An electrical permit is not required: If any, one- or two-family dwelling units need repair or replacement of electrical lighting fixtures or devices (example: receptacles and light switch) having the same voltage and the same or less amperage if the work is performed by a person licensed under G.S. 87-43 (PDF).
A plumbing permit is required: For the installation, extension, relocation, replacement, or general repair of any plumbing system.
A plumbing permit is not required: For minor repairs or replacements of plumbing fixtures provided such repairs or replacements do not disrupt the original water supply, the waste or ventilation system.
Replacement of Water Heaters: No permit shall be required for the replacement of water heaters in one- or two-family dwellings, provided:
- The energy use rate or thermal input is not greater than that of the water heater which is being replaced.
- There is no change in fuel, energy source, location, routing, or sizing of venting and piping.
- The work is performed by a licensed plumbing contractor and installed in accordance with the current edition of the North Carolina State Building Code.
Mechanical / HVAC Permit Required: Mechanical / HVAC permit is required for the installation, extension, relocation, replacement, and general repair of any heating, air-conditioning or venting system.
Do I Need to Use a Licensed Contractor?
Building Contractor Required:
- A general contractor licensed in North Carolina must perform all work where the construction cost is in excess of $40,000.
- An unlicensed contractor may perform work where the cost is $40,000 or less.
- Any person who is paid to manage a project where the construction cost is in excess of $40,000 must be a licensed General Contractor.
- Any person may act as their own general contractor for construction of a home, addition, or accessory structure if they own the land and will personally occupy the structure for 12 months after completion. Keep in mind that acting as your own general contractor can be a complex and time-consuming process, and you will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the construction project. It may be helpful to consult with a licensed contractor or a building code official in your area to ensure that you are complying with all the necessary requirements and standards.
Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning, Sprinkler License Contractor Required: A licensed plumbing, heating, and air conditioning contractor is required to alter, replace or relocate plumbing or heating and air conditioning. Homeowners may perform their own plumbing or heating work if they own the land and will personally occupy the structure.
Electrical Contractor's License Required: A licensed electrical contractor is required for all installation, construction, maintenance, or repair of electrical wiring, devices, appliances, or equipment. Homeowners may perform their own electrical work if they own the land and will personally occupy the structure.