You will need to contact the Zoning office that has jurisdiction over your property.
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Residential plans normally do not require an architect. If the proposed residence is unusually large and/or complicated it could require plans sealed by an architect or engineer. For commercial plans see the North Carolina Law and Administration Code.
If you are adding square footage or a bedroom, yes (residential). Other minor changes can usually be worked out with the field inspector. On a commercial project you need talk to the Field inspector first, if he determines that significant changes are to be made then additional plan review may be required.
Call NC State Health Hazards Control in Raleigh at 919-707-5950.
Contact Gaston County Natural Resources at 704-922-4181. See their page on Gaston County's website for more information.
The following items must be obtained or submitted prior to applying for the building permit:
- Zoning Permit from appropriate zoning office (if property is located within the City limits you will contact the City Zoning/Planning office; if property is not in the City limits then you can supply a plot plan with your building permit submission)
- Well & Septic Permits (if property will have a well and/or septic system installed)
- Erosion Control form (if disturbing less than 1 acre the Single Lot Form is acceptable, however if disturbing greater than 1 acre cumulative then you need to contact Gaston County Natural Resources)
- Lien Agent: you may obtain the lien agent by going to liensnc.com. This is needed even if the owner of the property anticipates performing all work for the project
- Appendix D / Affidavit for Workers Compensation
When ready to apply for the building permit you may do so by applying at CSS (gastongov.com)
A licensed General Contractor is needed whenever the project price is $30,000 or greater. The project price is what is agreed upon between the owner and the builder. Should the project price be less than $30,000 there is no requirement for a licensed General Contractor. These rules are put in place by the North Carolina General Contractor Licensing Board.
However, regardless of project price a licensed electrical, plumbing and mechanical sub-contractor is needed when applicable to the project.
The only exemptions to needing licensed individuals is when the Homeowner is acting in these roles when able to do so.
A building permit is needed for any structure that exceeds 12 feet in any dimension. This includes buildings that are built on-site or are delivered pre-built to your property. If the proposed structure is greater than 400 square feet then a permanent foundation is required.
The only exemption to this requirement is as follows:
If a permit is needed for your project the following documentation must be provided when applying for the building permit:
- Zoning Permit from appropriate Zoning office (if your property is not in the City limits then Gaston County will process the zoning and building permit requests concurrently)
- Septic Verification if your property has a septic system on-site
- Contractors information for who is building and/or responsible for the structure
- Appendix D / Affidavit of Workers Compensation: Appendix-D-Workers-Compensation-PDF (gastongov.com)
When ready to apply you may request the Building (Residential) - Accessory Structure permit online: CSS (gastongov.com)
Not required in single family residences for work costing less than $20,000 if no structural (load bearing) work is done, or if no work involving plumbing, mechanical, or electrical systems is done. Replacing plumbing fixtures without altering the trap or the drains or vents does not require a permit.
These types of restrictions are put in place by the Zoning office who has jurisdiction over your property. You will need to contact their office in order to obtain this information
The North Carolina State Building Code is what Gaston County Building Permits & Inspections Enforces.
To obtain copies of the Building Code you may do so by visiting ncdoi.gov under the Office of the State Fire Marshal.
A mobile home is built to Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) standards. A modular home is built to North Carolina Building Code Standards. Both require a building permit, however a permit for a modular home requires plans to be provided with the permit request.
Vacant Properties: a well and/or septic permit is needed for any property that you wish to build on that does not have City water and/or sewer utility connections
Additions (commercial & residential): if property has a septic tank on-site then you must perform septic verification with the Gaston County Health Department
Remodels (residential): if increasing the bedroom count of the home as part of the remodel then you must perform septic verification with the Gaston County Health Department
Accessory Structures (including pools): if property has a septic tank on-site then you must perform septic verification with the Gaston County Health Department
For commercial establishments, both new and existing, you must contact the Gaston County Health Department for an understanding if a permit is needed from their office. Examples of commercial establishments that would require a permit from the Health Department are as follows: food establishments, nursing homes, commercial swimming pools, etc.
The Gaston County Health Department can be contacted at 704-853-5200.
A copy of the Health Department permit, if applicable, is needed when applying for the building permit.
Please visit CSS (gastongov.com) for status updates on your permit request. You will receive emails at various stages of the permitting and plan review process to assist with this information as well.
All inspections must be requested online via the following link CSS (gastongov.com). From the Dashboard screen you will select the permit number and then the 'Inspections' button on the following screen. You will then be able to select the needed inspection(s)** and submit your request online.
Gaston County Building Permits & Inspections can typically accommodate a next-business day inspection so long as your request is made by 3PM the prior business day.
Also, any inspection needing to be cancelled can be done online prior to 3PM the prior business day. You will select the inspection number assigned to the requested inspection and then select 'Cancel'.
**Our permits have pre-built inspection lists; given this information there may be inspections that do not pertain to your project. Should this be the case you will NOTneed to request these online. The only inspection(s) contingent upon completing the work associated with the permit are the final(s).
The Fee Schedule for Gaston County Building Permits & Inspections can be found here: Fee-Schedule-PDF (gastongov.com)
The International Code Council Valuation Table can be found here: ICC-Building-Valuation-Data--FEBRUARY-2022-PDF (gastongov.com)
Gaston County Building Permits & Inspections currently has 3 forms of power:
- Saw Service: used during the construction process to power tools and other construction items
- Temporary-to-Permanent Power: this is an optional inspection that can be performed prior to all Final inspections being approved; since this is an optional inspection the General Contractor will have to complete the Temporary-Power-Application-PDF (gastongov.com) form and then upload a copy of the completed document to the 'Attachment' section of the building permit. A completed form will include all sub-contractors signatures, the General Contractors signature having been notarized and completed portion detailing why power is needed on the home. Please know that there is an additional $100 charge associated with this inspection that must be paid prior to scheduling the Temporary Power inspection.
- Final Power: Gaston County will approve for power to be placed on a structure once all final inspections are approved; if you opt for Temporary Power then the meter that was previously set by the energy provided will convert to permanent power
ONCE OUR INSPECTORS DEEM THAT AN ELECTRICAL METER CAN BE SET AT A PROPERTY, REGARDLESS THE POWER TYPE, IT IS THE CONTRACTOR OR OWNERS RESPONSIBILTY TO CONTACT THE ENERGY PROVIDER TO NOTIFY THEM OF INSPECTION APPROVAL AND TO HAVE THE METER SET.