Was that addition or recently finished basement permitted?

Well you have found the perfect house but you notice it has a basement that has recently been finished. The home inspector tells you that there are several things in the basement that aren't up to code. You also notice that no air conditioner or furnace has been added to the house. The home inspector tells you that this new square footage is now taxing the HVAC system that will sized for the previous square footage. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? I'm thinking that the owner finished his basement and didn't pull a permit. Let's say that a deck has been added to the house. The home inspector tells you it is not embraced and supported properly. There is no flashing with a deck meets the house. The spindles are greater than 4 inches apart and a 6 inch sphere can pass through many places in the guardrail. The steps that lead up to the deck don't have a handrail and it's over 30 inches and more than four steps. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Chances are this deck was never permitted. Let's say the owner added a workshop. In this workshop the home inspector finds numerous electrical violations. There is exposed wiring. There is reverse polarity. Are you thinking what I'm thinking?


How can you check to see a permit was pulled or an existing permit was closed?

You may want to check to see if a permit was pulled if you suspect in addition has some code violations. You may also want to check just to see if there are any open permits that haven't been closed on the house.

If you live in Charlotte Mecklenburg County you can go to MeckPermit to check an address for building permits. When it asks you for the address just put the number in the street not the city.

As far as I know Mecklenburg is the only county were you can actually check the permits online. I have posted some links to all the surrounding counties websites to check the permits. You may have to call or e-mail these folks to find out permits if your house is in one of these counties.


When is a building permit required?


Permits are required any were costing $5,000 or less and less the work involves:


  1. The addition, repair, or replacement of loadbearing members or structures;
  2. The installation, extension, alteration or general repair of any heating or cooling system;
  3. The installation, extension or general repair of any plumbing system;
  4. The installation, extension, alteration of an electrical wire system;
  5. The addition of roofing, excluding replacement of light grade of fire resistant roofing;
  6. The use of materials not permitted by this code.

Nobody can commit this or proceed with the construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, movement to another site, removal or demolition of any building without first securing the inspection department with jurisdiction over the side of the work any and all permits required by the state building code.

Is the total cost of the permit valuation include labor cost?

Yes, permit valuation shall include total cost, such as gas, electrical, plumbing equipment, mechanical, fire protection and other systems, including materials and labor.

Do plans need to be on site?

Yes, a copy of all plans shall be kept at the building site as near as possible to the permit clattered for the building official during inspections. This includes roof and floor trust drawings, engineering reports and repairs etc. Are building permits needed for accessory buildings?

No, I'll accessory buildings do not require permit. If the accessory building is greater than 12 feet in any dimension though it will require a building permit and be required to meet the provisions of this code. Accessory buildings requiring a building permit may be constructed without Mason Harry or concrete foundation provided all of the following conditions are met:

  1. The building is supported only would foundation of a minimum 2 x 6 or 3 x 4 months seal of approved would.
  2. The building shall not exceed 400 ft.² or one story in height.
  3. The building is anchored to resist overturning and sliding by installing a minimum of one ground anchor at each corner of the building. The total resisting force of an anchor shall be equal to 20 PSF times the plan area of the drawing