Code Info & Resource Center (CIRC)
How Does CIRC Help?
Technical assistance on the NC State Building Codes
Approval of single trade or maintenance permits on commercial projects
Process demolition permit on commercial projects
Process fire restoration permits that do not require plan review (see Fire Repair and Restoration section on this page for more information)
Commercial CIRC FAQ
The first step is to determine Occupancy load of the space using Table 1004.1.2 in the NC Building code. Once this is established, review Section 403 of the NC Plumbing Code along with table 403.1 to determine your minimum fixture count.
Yes, you will need to submit an Electrical permit application. If there are different contractors installing low voltage wiring, each contractor will need to submit separate permit applications. If this wiring is part of a larger overall project under construction, the Electrical permit application will need to have the six (6) digit county project number of the larger project.
Go to the Electronic Plan Submittal & Review on the Small Commercial Projects web page for detailed information.
Call the inspections department at 704-336-8000. Have your permit number ready.
es. This type of project may go through the Small Commercial Project review process. The drawings should include an Appendix B, a site plan, and details of the ramp, handrails, etc.
No, you must list your General Contractor and P, M, & E sub-contractors on your Building permit application when you submit for Small Commercial review.
Follow this link to the Helpful Links web page and click on Permit Fee Estimator to calculate an estimated building permit fee. Additional Zoning, Health and Fire fees may apply.
You will need to submit a Credit Refund Form and have your permit cancelled. Once this is done, come to the Code Information and Resource Center (CIRC) with a copy of your APPROVED PLANS, or the project number of the approved project, and a completed Building Permit application. This function may also be accomplished through the contractor account. The new permit application must reference the previous permit number that was cancelled and the approved project number.
Yes, if your wall is supporting 5' or more of fill. you will need to submit sealed drawings, a completed Building Permit application. The drawings should include an Appendix B, a site plan drawing showing the location of the wall(s), the Statement of Special Inspections, elevations, details sheet and a structural load sheet. If this wall is part of a larger overall project under constructions, the Building Permit application will need to have the six (6) digit county project number of the larger project.
Types of Permits
Stand-alone permits for minor work not requiring plan review may be issued on a case-by-case basis. Commercial trade permits are handled through the Code Information & Resource Center (CIRC). Customers may apply in person at our 1st Floor offices at 2145 Suttle Ave. OR submit an on-line application through the contractor's dashboard. For in-person applications, the appropriate trade permit application form must be completed and signed. If the sub-permit is for work being performed on a project under construction, please bring a copy of the approved drawings or identify the approved project number to verify the work being permitted. If the work being requested on the sub-permit application requires drawings, the customer will be notified, and the customer will need to submit drawings for review. The CIRC lobby staff will determine if the additional review will take place through OnSchedule Review or Small Commercial Review.
Plan review will not be required on a standalone electrical permit with a cost less than $5, 000.00. This allowance will not apply for any project involving life safety systems, medical facilities, hazardous locations, electric car chargers or load changes where the calculations exceed 200 amps. For standalone electrical projects not requiring plan review, the contractor shall provide the department by electronic upload, on their letterhead, a signed definitive scope of work, a load calculation per the code and all necessary fault current information.
Standalone trade permits can also be applied for through the online Trade Internet Permitting (TIP) program. The Trades Internet Permits (TIP) online process allows the contractor to enter details of the work being performed for projects that do not require a Building permit, pay the permit fee and print the permits. This process is for limited & specific project scopes, and the system will alert you if your scope requires you to apply using the standard permit application process.
Code Enforcement has created multiple streams for Permitting. To find out more about our permitting processes please refer to our permitting web page.
Interior Demolition permits for commercial work are issued through the CIRC. Interior Demolition is the demolition of interior components that do not affect rated assemblies and/or load bearing walls. Customers will need to complete a building permit application, include sub-contractors for any trade (E, M, or P) that has elements also being removed, and submit this application to the CIRC online or in person. There is NO new work, removal of structural components, or build back allowed to occur under the permits issued for interior demolition. Additional information regarding the demolition permitting process may be found here.
Total Demolition permits for commercial structures are also issued through the CIRC. Customers need to apply for a building permit and submit completed versions of the forms listed below. It is recommended that Customers apply for a Total Demo project through their Contractor account online. These permits may also be applied for on paper in-person, however there is an additional administrative fee charged for submitting in this way. Additional information regarding the demolition permitting process may be found here.
Neshap Form On this link, scroll to Notifications and click the NESHAP Notification of Demolition and/or Renovation form.
Environmental Health Contact Environmental Health Plan Review for information on demolition relocation and to obtain forms.
If you are disturbing more than one acre or the property is within a swim buffer, contact Soil Erosion.
When preparing to permit commercial fire/water repair and restoration projects, the scope of the work will determine what permits are required and whether a full plan review will be necessary prior to issuing permits.
If the project is in a residential apartment, condo, or any other R-2 or R-3 use, constructed under the Commercial Building Code, please refer to our Fire Restoration Project Procedures document. The 2018 Appendix B must be included in its entirety with you submittal. However, due to the nature of a fire/water repair and restoration project the following sections may not be applicable: Allowable Area, Allowable Height, Life Safety System Requirements, Life Safety Plan Requirements, Structural Design, Accessible Parking, & Accessible Dwelling Units. Note: Accessible Dwelling Units must be identified and illustrated if they are within the scope of your project.
If the project is in any other type of commercial building or space, the process will be the same as a renovation project.
The Span Charts associated with yellow pine lumber have been modified. Please review the following amended span tables prior to designing your project.
Small Commercial Project Questions: 980-314-2633, option 2-1-1-3, [email protected]
Program Manager: Scott Westbrook
Program Senior Plans Examiner: Tim Parnell
Residential CIRC FAQ
You can add on to your house if there is enough room in your yard and the addition meets the current NC building codes. Contact the appropriate zoning jurisdiction for your area regarding set-backs and space requirements for the addition. Links to each zoning jurisdiction within Mecklenburg County are listed above.
A building setback is the required distance that a building (structure) must be located from the property lines of the adjacent property. The setbacks are determined by the appropriate zoning jurisdiction and based on the zoning district. Please contact the appropriate planning/zoning department having jurisdiction in your area. Links to each zoning jurisdiction within Mecklenburg County are listed above.
A storage shed, or an accessory building will need a building permit if any dimension is greater than 12 feet in any one dimension. If the building is less than 12 feet, it will not need a building permit, but it will need a zoning permit.
A footing in Mecklenburg County must be at least 12 inches below grade, that is, the bottom of the concrete must be 12 inches below the surface. This must be inspected before any concrete is placed. If the soil is soft or not compacted well enough the usual solution is to dig deeper until you hit good hard dirt and support a load of 2000 pounds per square foot.
The state of North Carolina allows you to build your own home provided you personally will reside in the home and that it is not for rent or intended for sale within one year after you complete all construction. You will have to be bonded with Mecklenburg County. As an option, you could choose to be the general contractor and hire all the sub-contractors to work for you. You could pull the building permit and list each licensed contractor on your permit. They would call in their own inspections, but you would be acting as the general contractor for the project and responsible for all work.
Yes, you can but it will need a full, masonry foundation built underneath it with a continuous concrete footing. Most decks are built using wood posts on individual footings. When a deck is converted to a sunroom the windows and the roof create additional wind loads on the room which must be supported by a full foundation. The only alternative to this would be to have a NC licensed engineer design a post or pier foundation that would support the additional loading. A building permit and an electrical permit is required for this and the floor, walls and roof will have to be insulated. If the exterior door leading to this sunroom is removed, a licensed mechanical contractor will have to provide heat to the sunroom.
Generally, residential plans do not require a seal from an architect or engineer. However, when the plans contain structural elements exceeding the limits of the NC Residential Code, or otherwise not conforming to this code, these elements shall be designed in accordance with accepted engineering practice. This portion of the plan must be sealed by an architect or engineer. In other words, if it is not described in the code book it will need a seal. Examples of this would be truss roof or floor systems, engineered wood beams like LVL or steel beams, unusual foundations or retaining walls, unusual construction methods like log homes or timber framed structures.
Windows in hazardous locations require safety glazing which is usually tempered glass in residential construction. The code book describes 7 locations considered hazardous. Generally it would be: glass in doors, a window within 2 feet of a door in the same wall plane, a window less than 18 inches to the floor with a single pane more than 9 square feet, any glass around a pool, hot tub, shower etc., windows near a stairway, railing or a landing, all of these locations would require tempered or other type of safety glazing.
It is possible to finish a room in the basement or the attic if it can be done in conformance with the current NC residential codes. It would require a building permit plus electrical, mechanical and plumbing permits, if there is plumbing involved. A plan review is not required if the total cost is less than $175,000. If the project is adding a second or third story to the house plan review would be required and a NC licensed engineer would have to inspect the foundation for soundness and its ability to carry the added load and provide drawings and/or a letter providing information on how to structurally add the new stories. There are egress, headroom and stair requirements also. Contact CIRC for further details.
An outdoor range in a screened in porch is allowed if the range is rated for outdoor use and it has an exhaust hood and vent specified by the range manufacturer for use outdoors. The "rating" is only assigned to products which have been tested by an approved testing agency like UL or Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. for this type application. If this were a gas range, 2 permits would be required, electrical and mechanical.
The maximum rise or step height in NC is 81/4 inches. There is no minimum. The minimum tread depth is 9 inches with a 3/4-inch nosing. There is no maximum tread depth. A nosing is not required where the tread depth is a minimum of 11 inches.
In Mecklenburg County the insulation requirements are: R-19 in a floor above a crawl space or garage, R-15 in the exterior wall cavity or R-13 in the exterior wall cavity plus an R-2.5 continuous insulation and R-38 in the attic. If there is a full basement and the area is heated or conditioned space the basement walls would be insulated to R-5 for continuous insulated sheathing on the interior or exterior of the home or R-13 cavity insulation at the interior of the basement wall or crawl space wall. A full day-light wall would need R-15 in the exterior wall cavity or R-13 in the exterior wall cavity plus an R-2.5 continuous insulation.
Ventilation is required in each bathroom, water closet compartment and other similar rooms by providing a minimum size window of 3 square feet with 50% openable. or an exhaust fan vented directly to the outside with a minimum exhaust rate of 50 cfm.
Review our deck brochure complete with guidelines and diagrams.
Please see this brochure about Residential Inspections.
Review our In Home Day CARE brochure for the requirements and procedures.
The NC State Residential Code (see brochure) and Mecklenburg County Health Ordinance Govern Residential Swimming Pools. The Appendix V of the 2018 NC State Residential covers the specific code requirements for residential swimming pools & spas. The installation of swimming pools, spas, or hot tubs require zoning approval as part of the permitting process. Be sure to check with the appropriate zoning jurisdiction prior to ensure you have sufficient area on your property. If you have a septic system you should also check with Mecklenburg County Environmental Health to ensure the location of the pool doesn't interfere with the septic system.
View a free copy of the North Carolina Building Codes through the ICC. E-codes
Other Residential Services
Minimum Housing Code Enforcement, Abandoned and Junk Vehicle Ordinance Enforcement for portions of the county
Residential Questions: 980-314-2633, then follow the prompts, [email protected]
Program Manager: Scott Westbrook
Program Senior Plans Examiner: Tim Parnell