Gaston County



Business Review Team Brochure

Building Inspections

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Q.  What do I need to get a Building Permit?  What size plans do I have to submit?  Do I need an architect or engineer?
    A.  You can go to our website and download plan submittal requirements or pick them up here in the office.
  2. Q.  When is a Licensed Contractor Required?
    A.  A licensed contractor is required whenever construction is done that is $30,000 or more value.  The value is based either on a signed contract or our permit valuation, which is $112.65/sq. ft. of heated space of new residential construction.  Re-models are based on contract price or number of inspections trips that will be required.  For commercial projects, talk to our commercial plan reviewer.  These rules are made by the NC Licensing Board, and we have no control over them.  You may contact the Licensing Board for further information at 919-571-4183.
  3. Q.  Do I need an architect to draw my plans?
    A.  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.
  4. Q.  Do I need a permit for a residential storage building?
    A.  Any building greater than 12’ in any dimension requires a building permit.  If it is greater than 400 sq ft it requires a permanent foundation.  All buildings used for commercial purposes require a building permit and a permanent foundation.
  5. Q.  When is a remodeling permit required?
    A.  Not required in single family residences for work costing less than $5000 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.  A Zoning Permit is required for us to issue a remodeling permit.
  6. Q.  How big of a building can I put on this lot?  How much of my lot can I cover with buildings?  What type of business is allowed on this property?  How close to my lot line can I build?
    A.  Talk to Zoning about all of these types of issues.
  7. Q.  Can I get a Farm Exemption?
    A.  Contact Gaston County Zoning for Farm Exemption information.  Even though you are granted a farm exemption you will still need a permit for any electrical, mechanical, plumbing work.
  8. Q.  Does Gaston County have Code books for sale?
    A.  No.  Click the N.C. Codes On-line link on our website, and then go to Code Services on the DOI website.
  9. Q.  If I make changes on my approved plans, do I need to bring them back to Plan Review?
    A.  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.
  10. Q.  What’s the difference between a modular home and a mobile home?
    A.  A mobile home is built to HUD (Dept. of Housing and Urban Development) standards.  A modular home is built to Building Code Standards and requires a Building Permit and plans stamped by a third-party reviewing company.
  11. Q.  When do I need a permit from the Health Department?
    A.  Any time you’re building on a lot that does not have city water and sewer.  If you are remodeling or adding to an existing structure where the proposed work extends outside of the existing footprint (outline) of the building, or you are adding bedrooms to a residence, swimming pool, or work at a food establishment then you will need a permit from Environmental Health.
  12. Q.  What is the status of my plan I submitted?
    A.  Residential Plan Review is normally completed in 24 to 48 hours.  The plan reviewer will contact you when it is ready. 
  13. Q.  I was turned down on my inspection, who can I talk to about it?
    A.  First you need to talk to the field inspector who can explain exactly what he meant on the call sheet and why he requires the correction.
  14. Q.  What’s my building permit going to cost? A.  For a new home or addition it is based on our valuation tables and fee schedule.  A very rough, “ball park” figure is as follows:
    1000- sq ft of heated space w/one car garage-  $600
    1500- sq ft of heated space w/two car garage-  $850
    2000- sq ft of heated space w/two car garage-  $1050
    2500- sq ft of heated space w/two car garage-  $1250
    3000- sq ft of heated space w/two car garage-   $1450
    Interior remodeling, fire damage repair, etc. will be valued at the contract price and our fee schedule.
  15. Q.  Who do I contact about asbestos or lead paint ?
    A.  Call NC State Health Hazards Control (919-707-5950) in Raleigh.
  16. Q.  Who do I talk to about site grading, soil erosion, water quality, wetlands, stream run-off, etc.?
    A.  Contact Gaston County Natural Resources at 704-922-4181.  See their site on Gaston County’s Website for more information.