Building Permits Required
No person shall commence or proceed with the construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, or movement to another site, removal, demolition or change the type occupancy of any building without first having obtained a permit for the specific work to be done.
Exceptions: Building permits are not required for nonstructural work costing less than $15,000 or for farm buildings located outside the jurisdiction of any municipality; or for residential accessory structures where no dimension exceeds 12 feet, unless the work involves new or altered plumbing systems, mechanical systems or electrical systems.
All permits expire six months after the date of issuance if the authorized work has not commenced. After commencement of work, if work is discontinued for a period of twelve months, the permit expires. If no inspection has been requested within a twelve-month period, it shall be presumed that work has stopped and the permit has expired.
Electrical Permits Required
An electrical permit for the specific work is required to install, alter, repair, replace or relocate any electrical wiring, devices, appliances or equipment, except repair or replacement of electrical lighting devices and fixtures of the same type, where such work is performed by a licensed electrician.
Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning, and Sprinkler Permits Required
A plumbing or heating permit is required to install, replace or relocate any plumbing, heating, air-conditioning material, appliances or equipment. Plumbing permits shall not be required for minor repairs or replacements on the house side of a trap to an installed system of plumbing provided such repairs or replacements do not disrupt the original water supply or the waste or ventilation system. Heating and air conditioning permits shall not be required for minor burner services or filter replacements of warm-air furnaces or cooling systems. A permit is required for installation of or modification to an automatic fire-extinguishing system.
When is approval from Environmental Health required?
Per the North Carolina General Statutes, where construction, location or relocation is proposed to be done upon a residence, place of business or place of public assembly, no permit required for electrical, plumbing, heating, air conditioning or other construction, location or relocation activity under law shall be issued until an authorization for wastewater system construction has been issued or authorization has been obtained from Environmental Health unless connected to public sewer and public water.
The Inspection Department will require approval from the Environmental Health Section:
- Prior to connection or reconnection of the Electrical Service for any house, business, or recreational vehicle that is not connected to public utilities.
- Prior to issuance of a building permit where the building footprint changes, the primary use of a building is changed, or the number of bedrooms is increased.
Building Contractor Required
A general contractor licensed in North Carolina must perform all work where the construction cost is in excess of $30,000. Any person who is paid to manage a project where the construction cost is in excess of $30,000 must be a licensed General Contractor. An unlicensed contractor may perform work where the cost is $30,000 or less. 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.
North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors
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 for a period of 12 months after completion.
NC State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors
Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning, and 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 for 12 months after completion.
State Board of Examiners
Fire Prevention Permits
Permits required by and associated with the North Carolina Fire Prevention Code are enforced by the Alamance County Fire Marshal’s Office. Sprinkler and Alarm permits are issued through the Central Permitting Office.
State Board of Examiners
Please visit our FAQ page for more information about when permits are required.
Permit Forms can be downloaded from our website, copied and completed prior to visiting our office, or picked up at our office and completed on site.