What is a building permit?
A building permit is the basic administrative device required by the State of North Carolina that must be obtained prior to construction or alteration of any building or structure, or plumbing, mechanical, or electrical system. In some cases, exemptions from requirements for building permits are applicable, and the Building Inspection Division should be contacted to determine if a project is exempt. (G.S. 160A-417)
When is a permit required?
Typical construction projects requiring permits and inspections include: room additions; decks; roofs over decks; swimming pools greater than 42 inches deep; finishing basements; bonus rooms and attics; lawn irrigation systems; accessory buildings (see next paragraph); all installations or modifications to electrical, plumbing, or heating or air conditioning systems. For more information please contact the Building Inspection Permit Office at (919) 249-3418.
A building permit is required for accessory buildings located on one or two family dwelling lots; however, accessory buildings with no dimension greater than 12 feet are exempt from the building permit requirement. (NC Residential Code, Section R101.2). This exemption from the requirement for a building permit is not applicable for any associated plumbing, electrical wiring, or mechanical system installations. Town of Apex Zoning Code regulations pertaining to setbacks and yard lines are also applicable as indicated in the zoning regulations for particular subdivisions or parcels. Subdivision covenants are legal agreements that may, at times, be more restrictive than the state or local ordinances. Property owners should review any covenants that may apply prior to any work. The covenants are not governed by the Town but must be considered with any project.
Also see Accessory Structures.
How do I obtain a building permit?
The process for obtaining building, electrical, plumbing, or mechanical permits begins with completing and filing a Permit Application for One and Two Family Dwellings or a Permit Application for Single Trade Construction. Additionally, applications for “building” permits (new buildings or additions) must be accompanied by a completed One and Two Family Dwelling Checklist. These documents are available at the Building Inspections Office, 73 Hunter Street, Apex, NC and online.
How long does it take to receive a permit?
Upon receipt of a permit application and/or plans, the plan review staff will review the information for technical content and completeness. After determining that all necessary information has been supplied, approval for the issuance of the permit will be authorized and the applicant will be notified that the permit is ready to be purchased and picked up. The review process may take only a few minutes to review the application for a single trade mechanical or electrical permit, and as long as one to ten working days for review of building construction plans for decks, porches, additions, and new homes depending on work load. In every case the review time will be as short as possible.
How much does a permit cost?
Please see our Fees Page for permit costs.
Can I as homeowner do my own work?
In most cases NC State laws pertaining to contractors allow homeowners to obtain permits and perform construction work on their personal home. Please contact the Building Inspection Division for more detailed information.