Charlotte Homeowners: Know When You Need Permits For Home Improvements

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Executive | Charlotte, NC

Charlotte Homeowners: Know When You Need Permits For Home Improvements

Mecklenburg County Permitting Process

It's important for Charlotte homeowners to know when they need county permits for home improvements. Failure to obtain permits can result in:

  1. Cancellation of homeowner insurance or insurance claim denial on the portion of the home that has been unpermitted or even on a claim for permitted areas of the home if it's determined that the problem was caused by unpermitted work.
  2. Coverage issues with title insurance for the unpermitted portions of the home.
  3. Termination of a contract to purchase your home if it's discovered that work was not properly permitted. (Keep in mind that buyers assume liability for all unpermitted work once the home sells and many won't take this on.)
  4. Potential law suits by a buyer claiming lack of disclosure of a material fact about the home if the lack of a permit(s) wasn't disclosed at time of sale.
  5. After-the-fact permitting can be an expensive exercise. It can also be a lengthy exercise, which could delay closing on your home if you're in contract, assuming your buyer doesn't terminate the contract outright.
  6. Code violations for unpermitted work can result in significant fines. You may even find it totally impossible to sell your home and have a buyer get financing for a home with open code violations.

When Do You NEED A Permit In Charlotte/Mecklenburg County?

Building permits are generally required anytime the work will exceed $5,000 in cost. And keep in mind that in some cases, a zoning permit might also be required by the County. Here are some examples of work that will always require a Mecklenbury County permit:

  1. Decks, carports, garages, back yard storage buildings of any size.  (And it's worth keeping in mind that you want to make sure any such additions are not violating County setback requirements, so get a survey.)
  2. Room additions or finishing attic space.
  3. Modifying HVAC systems (changing, adding to).
  4. Replacing a water heater.
  5. Replacing and reconnecting furnaces, dishwashers, water heaters, plumbing systems.
  6. Kitchen cabinet replacement.
  7. Sub-floor repairs. 

When Do You NOT NEED A Permit in Charlotte/Mecklenburg County?

  1. Repairs, remodels, updates that cost less than $5,000 do not require permits.
  2. Roofing replacement so long as you use the same type of materials.
  3. Vinyl siding replacement.
  4. Repair of damaged plumbing lines and corded equipment (lamps, washers, dryers, etc.)
  5. Window replacements so long as you your the same size windows.

To avoid issues resulting from unpermitted work, it's always best to check first with Mecklenburg County about the work you are contemplating. You can call the County at 704-432-7822 or go on line for more information at

More information about when you need a permit in Mecklenburg County.   County Inspector

Quick Guide to Meckleburg County Code Enforcement.

Charlotte area homeowners should be aware of permitting requirements in Mecklenburg County to protect the value of their homes and to ensure that their homes sell without any issues. Don't take chances with your home that can cost you thousands of dollars down the line. "Do it right" up front!

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Nina Hollander, Broker, Realtor / REMAX / Carolinas Realty Partners / Ph: 704.779.0813 / F: 704.341.3346 / E: / W:

Nina Hollander
Broker, Realtor, CRS, GRI, ABR, SRES, CDPE, SFR, SPS, CMRS
Carolinas Realty Partners with RE/MAX Executive Realty
Direct: 704-779-0813
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Disclaimer:  Nothing in this blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, or financial advice.  For legal advice see an attorney.   For tax advice or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.



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Randy Shamburger
Movement Mortgage - Greenville, SC
FHA, VA, USDA and Conventional Mortgage Expert

Nice information, excellent post. Thanks for sharing.

Have a Big day,


Jan 19, 2014 11:32 PM #1
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Nina the safe thing is, when in doubt get the Building Permit.  That way you don't have to worry about it later.

Jan 20, 2014 03:57 AM #2
Nina Hollander
RE/MAX Executive | Charlotte, NC - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

The problem, George, is that so many people want to save a few thousand dollars on their projects not realizing it can cost them more on the back end to make it right.

Jan 20, 2014 04:02 AM #3
Nina Hollander
RE/MAX Executive | Charlotte, NC - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Thanks, Randy. Trying to stay on top of issues important to home owners.

Jan 20, 2014 04:03 AM #4
Mary Magee
Mary Magee Carolinas Real Estate, Inc./Home Team Pros - Charlotte, NC

Great information.  Thank you.

Jan 21, 2014 03:19 AM #5
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Nina Hollander

Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor
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