Inspections - FAQs

How many sets of plans are required for review?

  • Residential – 2 sets
  • Commercial – 3 sets
  • Commercial/Health Department - 4 sets


Can I submit building construction drawings before my site plan has been approved?

  • Yes. In this way, reviews may run concurrently and hopefully not delay any projects.


Do my plans have to be drawn to scale?

  • Yes, we prefer nothing less than 1/8 scale.

 

Why do I need a permit?

  • The purpose of a permit is to enforce minimum consistent requirements of nationally recognized good practices by providing a reasonable level of life safety and protection of hazards to all parties involved.

 

How much will my permit cost?

  • There are many variables that affect the cost of permits. The cost of permits starts at $50.00 but can sometimes be as much as $100,000.00 or more. Permit cost can be based on the number of trades (building, electrical, plumbing or mechanical), the total square footage of the project, the number of bedrooms, the total cost of the project, the type of project and a variety of other things. Many times we cannot tell how much a permit will cost until a thorough evaluation of the project is made.


How can I make payment for a permit? Do you accept credit cards?

  • We accept cash, check, and credit cards.  Credit cards are kept to a $1000.00 maximum charge.  


When is a permit required for an accessory building in my yard?

  • A development permit will almost always be required for an accessory building. 
  • A building permit is required when your building is larger than 12 feet in any dimension or if it is more than one story. A permit is required if your building has electrical installed regardless of its size. 

 

Do I need a permit to install a fence?

  • Yes. Complete the Development Permit Application and submit two (2) copies of the survey / plot plan of your property showing where the fence will be located on your property. One the application is approved by Zoning, we will contact the applicant back and at that time they will be able to come back into the office and make payment.

 

Do I need a permit for a storage building?

  • Yes - depending upon the size stipulates the type of permit required.
  • If all sides of the building are 12’ and less, a Development Permit is the only thing that is required.   Complete the Development Permit Application and submit two (2) copies of your survey / plot plan of your property showing where the storage building will be located. Setback requirements are 10’ from rear and side property lines.
  • If one side of the storage building is larger than 12’, complete the Development Permit Application, submit two (2) copies of the survey / plot plan of the property showing where the storage building will be located on the property (setback requirements are 10’ from rear and side property lines), and two (2) copies of the building plans showing how the storage building will be built.
  • Once the plans have been approved by the Residential Plan Reviewer and signed off in Zoning, we will contact the applicant back with the costs.


Is a Permit needed to install a Swimming Pool (Above or Underground)?

  • Yes. Complete the permit application for swimming pool and submit two (2) copies of the survey / plot plan showing the location where the pool will be placed on the property. Once the application has been approved by the plan reviewer and signed off in Zoning, we will contact the applicant back with the applicable fees.

 

Is a permit needed for Special Events?

  • Yes. Contact the Wake Forest Police Department and complete the special events application.

 

I live in Wake Forest address, so do I come to the Town of Wake Forest for my permit?

  • Although you may have a Wake Forest address, we only cover the areas inside the city limits of Wake Forest and ETJ. If you are unsure whether you are inside the city limits, contact our office prior to coming in and we’ll be glad to let you know which jurisdiction you are in. 

 

I am the owner of my home and live in the home, am I allowed to be my own contactor of work that I would like to have done?

  • Yes. As long as you own the home and don’t rent it out, you can serve as your own contractor. There is one stipulation: you will need to live in the home for one (1) year after the work is completed.

 

Do I need a permit to build a porch / deck / sunroom?

  • YES – complete the Development Permit Application and submit two (2) copies of your survey / plot plan showing where the construction will be, as well as submitting two (2) copies of the complete building plans.

 

Do I need an architect to draw these plans?

  • As long as the plans are complete, legible and drawn to scale, they should be acceptable.  

 

How do I schedule an inspection?

  • Call our Inspection’s Line (919) 435-9531 prior to 3 pm and the inspection is scheduled for the next working day?

 

How can I find out what time the inspector will be at my job?

  • Call our Inspection’s Line (919) 435-9531 around 8:30 am on the morning of your inspection, and you’ll be connected with the inspector. He will be able to provide an estimated time based upon his workload for the day.

 

When does my work need to be ready for inspection?

  • The work needs to be ready the day that you call to schedule the inspection.

 

What items are needed for construction of a new Single-Family Home / Townhome?

  • Complete a Development Permit Application, NC Energy Code Compliance Certificate, two (2) copies of the survey showing where the home will be located (with the driveway, easements, etc) and two (2) completed building plans.

 

How long does your office keep records of the Permit / Inspections for jobs?

  • Per the Retention Table established by the North Carolina Division of Historical Resources Archives and Records Section, we are obligated to keep records for only six (6) years.

 

How long does your office keep blueprints of new residential construction?

  • Per the Retention Table established by the North Carolina Division of Historical Resources Archives and Records Section, blueprints can be destroyed once the job is completed.

 

I have a reinspection fee. Do I need to pay this before I can get my next inspection?

  • No. Reinspection fees can accumulate up until trade final inspections or inspection to have permanent power released, at which time all fees will need to be paid prior to scheduling inspection.

 

Do I need a permit to run a business out of my home?

    • YES – complete the Development Permit Application; describe the type of business that you will have; list the square footage of your home as well as the square footage of the room that you will use. 
  • Once Zoning has signed off on the application, we will contact the applicant back and at that time they will be able to come into the office and purchase the permit.

 

Does someone need to be on job site to meet inspector?

  • New Construction – at the Inspector’s discretion
  • Occupied home – YES. Our inspectors will not enter into an occupied home without a homeowner or contractor.

 

What do I need to do if I want to open a new business in an existing building or space?

  • If it's the same type of business:
    • Complete commercial permit application for Zoning Preoccupancy permit and submit to Inspections Department.
    • Acquire a Town privilege license.
    • Make application for Town power if applicable.
    • Planning staff will review application for zoning issues and if approved will send it to Inspections staff for compliance with state building and fire codes.
    • If permit is approved it will be processed and you will be called to pick up permit.
    • After permit has been picked up you will need to schedule a fire inspection.
    • An Inspector will come out and if everything is ok he will issue a Certificate of Occupancy.
  • If the business is a different type or alterations are to be made from the previous use, please contact the Inspections Departments for assistance.

 

I am building a deck in my yard that is not attached to my house do I need a permit?

  • Yes. You need a permit for a deck or deck extension.

 

I have a storage building that I want to add receptacles and lights in do I need a permit?

  • Yes. A permit is needed for any electric work.

 

I am buying a swimming pool from a department store do I need a permit? 

  • If the pool holds water to a depth of 24inches or greater you will need a permit and also a fence.

 

Does the Town have Minimum standards for houses?

  • Yes, the Town has a minimum housing code.

 

Where can I find a copy of the building code?

  • You can go to the Inspection department section on the town’s website and go to the link NC Building Codes.

 

I need to speak to an Inspector what time are they are the in the office and in the field doing inspections?

  • The Inspectors are in the office from 8-9 am and 4-5 pm. They are in the field from 9 am - 4 pm.