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Planning Department - Planning, Zoning and Inspections
Inspections
PERMITS
Inpections Image

When is a permit required?
Where is the Permit Office located?
What are the office hours?
What will I need to obtain a building permit?
When is a plot plan or new survey required?
Can I, as homeowner, do my own work?
How much will my permit cost?
How can I access the NC Building Code?
Are there restrictions on availability of building permits?
Can you tell me the process of obtaining a permit?
How can I schedule an inspection?

WHEN IS A PERMIT REQUIRED?

When is it necessary to obtain a building permit? Well, 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, including the following.

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."

Everyday projects requiring permits include:

  • Converting a residence to a business.
  • Constructing a deck, screened porch, or sunroom.
  • Installing an irrigation system.
  • Installing a swimming pool.
  • Adding a ceiling fan.
  • Finishing an attic or basement.
  • Replacing a furnace or air conditioner.
  • Installing gas logs, attic fans, skylights
A permit is not required for:
  • Replacement of water heaters in the same location with the same fuel source by a licensed plumber.
  • Replacement of non-structural, cosmetic building elements, such as: floor and wall coverings; moldings and trim; cabinets and casework; roof coverings with same materials, etc.
  • Residential accessory buildings that are no more than 12 feet in any dimension.
  • 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.
  • Replacement of plumbing fixtures when the work does not go beyond the trap seal.
  • Installation of low voltage exterior landscape lighting
Questions? Call or visit the Inspections and Permits Division located in Town Hall Building B.

WHERE IS THE PERMIT OFFICE LOCATED?

We are located at 301 W. Main St., Carrboro, NC 27510. Inspections is located on the second floor of Town Hall.

WHAT ARE THE OFFICE HOURS?

The Permit office is open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday. Field Inspectors work from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM and are typically in the office from 8:00 AM to 9:30 AM and 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM daily.

WHAT WILL I NEED TO OBTAIN A BUILDING PERMIT?

For residential permits, two complete set of plans is required (three are recommended so that you have a spare set). A plot plan at a readable scale on letter or legal sized paper is also required, and an application must be filled out at our office. The application will require contractors' names, addresses, state license numbers, and Town of Carrboro privilege license numbers. The property owner/designee will be required to sign the application.

For commercial permits, a completed application, three sets of complete plans, one site plan, a completed Appendix B from the Building Code, and minimum facilities calculations per Table 407 of Volume II are all required. In addition, water system calculations for 2" meters or larger, sewer flow calculations, and grease interceptor calculations are required, if applicable.

WHEN IS A PLOT PLAN OR NEW SURVEY REQUIRED?

As a rule, any time that the "footprint" of a primary or accessory building changes, a new plot plan and as-built survey are required. This includes decks, porches, and storage buildings. However, staff does have the authority to waive the survey if the construction is obviously not in the proximity of any setbacks or easements.

Modifications inside the existing building shell do not require a plot plan or survey.

CAN I, AS HOMEOWNER, DO MY OWN WORK?

Yes, an owner of the property can do their own building, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical work. The owner does not need to be licensed in any of these areas, nor does he need a ToC privilege license. State law requires that the property be the owner's primary residence for at least twelve months after completion of the work. Owner cannot be General Contractor on rental property unless the construction costs are less than $30,000. In this case, anyone can be the General Contractor.

HOW MUCH WILL MY PERMIT COST?

Please see the Town of Carrboro Fee Schedule. Any questions, please contact 919-918-7336..

HOW CAN I ACCESS THE NC BUILDING CODE?

Building codes can be obtained through the NC Department of Insurance at (919) 661-5880.

ARE THERE RESTRICTIONS ON AVAILABILITY OF BUILDING PERMITS?

There are currently no restrictions on obtaining building permits.

CAN YOU TELL ME THE PROCESS OF OBTAINING A PERMIT?

The process differs based on the type of construction project.

Residential permits not requiring zoning approvals can be processed in one day; other residential permits can be processed within three days. Commercial projects can be processed within 14 days of submitting a completed application. One shot permits (i.e. decks, interior renovations) can be processed the same day. Office hours are from 8:30am to 4:30pm. Please understand this may vary with the complexity of the process.

The plan review process for one- and two-family homes normally takes one to two weeks. During that time, your contractors' licenses are verified, your plot plan is checked for compliance with zoning requirements, and your building plans are checked for compliance with NC State Building Codes. If all is approved, you will be contacted to pick up your permit.

The plan review process for commercial or multi-family permits usually takes three to four weeks. However, commercial construction can be a simple fit-up, or a major shopping center. The more complex permits will require a longer review time. During the review process, the Fire Department will verify life safety requirements, contractors' licenses will be verified, and plans will be scrutinized by building plans examiners, plumbing, electrical, and mechanical inspectors. Any problems found during the process are faxed to the project contact for updates or corrections. Upon approval, two sets of plans are returned to the applicant.

HOW CAN I SCHEDULE AN INSPECTION?

There are several options to choose from in scheduling an inspection:
  • 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon - Fri 919-918-7336
  • Building Permits Online - not available at this time.

 
 
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