About Construction Permits in North Carolina

About Construction Permits in North Carolina

Before you begin any home repair or construction project in Charlotte, NC, you must check to see if you need a permit.  Permits ensure that safety standards are met, and protect the value of your home.  After construction is completed, a final inspection verifies that all safety and construction codes have been met.

While it might be tempting to ignore permitting, you’d be making an expensive mistake.  When it comes time to sell your home, work done without proper permitting will have to be inspected before the sale can go through.  Sometimes this means that the work must be torn out so the underlying construction can be inspected.  Then the final work will need to be re-done – at your expense.  This can be very costly.  What’s worse, it’s wasted money, a needless expense that could easily have been avoided.

Failure to obtain proper permits can result in a citation, fines, increased fees, added service fees, and even court costs.   But ignoring permitting can cost you more than money.  It could cost you and your family your health, your home, even your lives.  Why take the chance?

Without proper permitting, you may be unaware of possible dangers with your construction.  Code violations can lead to fires, contaminated drinking water, or unsafe air quality.  You may never know about deviations from code until it’s too late – unless you have the work inspected as required.  And, if you do suffer damage from a fire, your home owner’s insurance may not cover your losses.

Here is an overview of several types of permits you may need.  Before beginning any construction, you should consult city officials about the specifics of your project.  See the contact information provided below.

Same Day Permitting is for smaller commercial and residential projects, like repairs and alterations, which do not require plans.  Permits are issued for building, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and other types of work.  Same Day Permitting is used for projects like interior renovations, including moving walls or otherwise altering the interior space.  Minor circuit work and repairs to windows, door and roofs also fall into this category.  For same day processing, relevant documents must be submitted by 3:30 p.m. to the Inspections Department’s Litchford Road Satellite Office.  You can expect a processing time of about 30 minutes.

Next Day Permitting is for projects such as fences, decks/porches, pools/hot tubs and accessory structures like garages and sheds.  Survey plot plans may be required.  If your project is an accessory structure, you should consult the Zoning Division for setback information needed for proper placement of the structure on your property.

Time your inspections properly.  Depending on the type of project, various inspections may be necessary at certain times.  Building inspections include a footing inspection before concrete is placed.  Framing inspections are needed after the roof, ceiling and floor framing is complete.  A final inspection is needed for each separate trade after all other inspections have been approved.

Electrical inspections include both a rough-in inspection to view framing, wiring, plumbing, fire protection, etc. before they are sealed-in, and a final inspection at the completion of the project.  Smoke detectors must be upgraded to the current code standards.

Scheduling an inspection

When you are ready for an inspection,  visit the City of Charlotte Building Permits website here for more information.

Once you have scheduled the inspection, bring with you or have handy the permit number and the address of your project address.  You can find both of these on your copy of the permit application.  Once you have been issued a permit, you must schedule at least one inspection within a year, or else the permit will be invalidated.  Your inspections must be scheduled in the correct sequence.  Failure to do so may result in a rejected inspection, and you will have to pay an extra re-inspection fee.

If any code violations are found, your inspection will be rejected.  You must have the violation corrected and then the work must be re-inspected after paying a re-inspection fee.

When you have scheduled your final inspection, any remaining inspections for that permit number will automatically be scheduled for the same date.

Don’t expose your family to danger, and don’t risk wasting your hard-earned money.

Do it right.  Do it safe.  Get your permits.

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