​When is a permit required?

Building Permit Required: No person or corporation shall locate, erect, construct, enlarge, alter, repair, demolish or relocate any building, or change the type of occupancy without first obtaining the required permits for the specific work from the Inspections Department having jurisdiction.
Building permits are not required for:
·        Nonstructural work where the costs is less than $15,000 in any single-family residence.
·        Farm buildings outside the jurisdiction of any municipality.
·        Residential accessory structures where no dimension exceeds 12 feet.
·        The replacement of windows, doors and exterior siding in residential structures.
·        The replacement of pickets, railings, stair treads, and decking of residential porches and exterior decks. 

Electrical Permit Required: An electrical permit is required for the installation, extension, alteration, or general repair of any electrical wiring, devices, appliances, or equipment except that in any one or two-family dwelling units a permit shall not be required for repair or replacement of electrical lighting fixtures or devices, such as receptacles and lighting switches having the same voltage and the same or less amperage as long as the work is performed by a person licensed under G.S.87-43.
Plumbing Permit Required: A plumbing permit is required for the installation, extension, relocation, replacement or general repair of any plumbing system. Plumbing permits shall not be 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 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.

When must work be done by 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 $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.
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.


Wake County Departments & Agencies: