Inspections & Permits

construction plan on a table
Inspectors ensure construction plans meet NC building code

Wake County Inspections & Permits provides building inspections and permitting services for all unincorporated areas of Wake County and, through contractual agreements, provides inspections services to the towns of Knightdale, Rolesville, Wendell and Zebulon. 

Contact Wake County Inspections and Permits

919-856-6222
[email protected]

Hours of Operation

  • Office Hours: 8:15 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Monday–Friday 
  • Field Inspection Hours: 7:15 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Monday–Friday

Frequently Asked Questions About Inspections

When is a permit not required?

  • Nonstructural work where the cost is less than $15,000 in any single-family residence unless the work involves new or altered plumbing systems, mechanical systems or electrical systems.
  • Farm buildings outside the jurisdiction of any municipality.
  • Residential accessory buildings 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.
  • Replacement of a water heater 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.
  • In one or two-family dwellings, the repair or replacement of electrical lighting fixtures or devices, such as receptacles and switches. The replacement is required to be the same voltage and the same or less amperage, with the work being performed by a licensed electrical contractor.

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.

 

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.

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. A PTAC (Package Terminal Air Conditioner) requires a mechanical permit be obtained before installation; however, a licensed mechanical contractor is not required to install the unit. If any electrical wiring is added for the unit, an electrical permit will be required as well. A licensed electrician would be required for the wiring.

A permit is required to convert a gas appliance to a different type of gas, such as converting a Liquid Propane (LP) appliance to natural gas.

When should I request an inspection?

It's important to schedule your inspections at the right times during your project. See More Information on Inspections

When does work need to 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 property 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 property 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 property and will personally occupy the structure.

What is my jurisdiction?

Wake County Inspections & Permits provides inspections and permitting services for all unincorporated areas of Wake County. You can locate the jurisdiction for your property by searching your address, owner's name or parcel number at the iMaps website. Once you have located your property, look for your planning jurisdiction. If "WC" is listed as your planning jurisdiction, you are in Wake County's jurisdiction.    

Keep in mind that Wake County conducts permitting and inspection services for the towns of Rolesville, Wendell, Knightdale and Zebulon. If you live within the corporate limits of one of those towns, you will apply for your permits through one of the towns. The permitting and inspection services will be provided by Wake County.

How do I appeal an inspection decision?

Inspection appeals take place when the contractor and the first line field inspector disagree on field conditions and or code enforcement decisions. Learn more about the appeal process here