March 9, 2019

Guidelines for Building Permits

Lake Norman

When starting a home renovation project check the guidelines for building permit codes for your county.  Knowing what is required for the project will save time and money in the long run.  Renovation means altering a facility or more than one facility components in any way. Usually, permits are required for any building construction, alteration, or repair involving new or changed uses of property for a 1 or 2 family dwelling. Also, a separate permit may be required for building, electrical, heating and or air conditioning, and plumbing projects.  For Permits, Inspection Fee and Service Fee Schedules go to the county websites under Permits. And, depending on the county, permits are not required if the project is less than $5000 or up to $15,000 based on the type of renovation.

The following is including:

  • The addition, repair, or replacement of load bearing structures
  • The addition, or change in the plumbing system design
  • The addition, replacement or change in the heating or cooling system
  • The addition, replacement or change in the electrical system
  • The addition of roofing, excluding placement of fire grade resistance material
  • The addition of septic tank or well, or city sewer services approval from the Environmental Health Department is required or must have the approval of the existing system

What information is required for a permit?

An application for a permit should include:
1. A general description of the proposed work
2. Location of proposed work
3. Signature of the owner or licensed agent
4. Costs to include labor and materials, site work, contractor and professional design fees

When do permits expire?

Permits will expire 6 months after issue date if work has not commenced. Also, they expire when work has started but has been discontinued for 12 months from the last inspection date. Inspectors will check to make sure that work is done according to code. Contractors or homeowners doing their own work must check with the county’s department to arrange an inspection.

How much are permit fees?

Depending on the size of renovation or whether new construction, fees can range from $25 and up. Generally, these fees are based on square footage of the accessory building, new construction, or renovation.

Do I need a permit for a temporary structure or shed?

Yes, any accessory building greater than 12 feet in any direction must have a building
permit and must meet the previsions code. Less than 12 feet require a zoning permit to
assure that the structure is located far enough from property lines.

Check for permits before listing a property

Most states require homeowners disclosure statement before a home is sold.  This will allow the listing agent to verify whether there were permits for any and all renovations that were made to the property.  If there were no permits this could affect the sale of the property during inspections or at closing.  Also, should the buyer of the property have an issue later on this could affect insurance claim and the process.

There is an interesting post in the Realtor Magazine:
Be Cautious About Renos Without Permits

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Lake Norman

March 9, 2019