Building Inspections Department FAQ's

How Do I Know If a Building Permit Is Required?

The following list is a guideline only. It is not all-inclusive to projects that may require a permit. In addition to the list below, if any structural work is altered or replaced a permit is necessary. Due to the fact that our jurisdiction is located in a high wind zone and a large portion of the area is also located in a floodplain area it is advisable that you contact the Inspections Department prior to beginning any work.

  • Additions to any structure
  • Back Flow Preventors/RPZ Valves
  • Change in Occupancy for a Commercial Use
  • Decks (new or repairs)
  • Demolition of any structure
  • Docks and/or Bulkheads
  • Driveways/Concrete/Pavers 
  • Fences
  • Fire Sprinkler(s)
  • Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing
  • New Construction: Residential and Commercial
  • Pools
  • Renovations/Remodels: Residential and Commercial 
  • Roofing and/or Siding
  • Signs
  • Storage/Accessory Structures
  • Windows and/or Doors

When Do I Hire A Licensed Contractor?

A licensed North Carolina General Contractor is required for the building of or improvement to a structure when the cost exceeds $30,000.

An electrical contractor is required in the event of any installation, maintenance, alteration, repair work, wiring, wiring devices, appliances or equipment.            

A licensed Mechanical or Plumbing Contractor is required for the installation of, or change out of a heating and air system, water heater, duct work, gas line and/or fuel piping, or other related projects.

What are the Legal requirements for Owner/Contractor?

New requirements have been adopted for owner/contractors. Please click here to view the new requirements.

What are the regulations regarding signs?

Click here to view the Town of Sunset Beach UDO Regulations for Signs, Article II Signs; Outdoor Advertising Structures.

What are the set backs for my property?

Set back information for residential zones is available in the Sunset Beach UDO, click here to view Article 6 Zoning Districts. For information on Commercial or Multi-family setbacks contact the Inspections Department.

During What Hours Is Construction Permitted? 

Work may take place between 7:30 am and 8:00 pm from Memorial Day through Labor Day and 7:00 am till 8:00 pm the remainder of the year. No work will be allowed on any Sunday anytime of the year.

Can You Give Me A Referral For A Builder Or A Contractor?

The Inspections Department cannot make referrals, however, if you have questions about any contractor, contact the NC Licensing Board for General Contractors:

Do I Need A Permit To Cut Down Trees In My Yard?

No, a permit is not required if you are removing trees from a residential property. However, you will need to contact the Inspections Department if you are clearing the lot.

I Have A CAMA Permit; Do I Still Need A Building Permit From Sunset Beach?

Yes. The Sunset Beach permits are separate from CAMA permits. Be sure to provide a copy of your CAMA permit and two (2) sets of plans when submitting your application.  

Do Permits Have Time Limits Attached?

Yes. A permit shall expire six (6) months after the date it is issued if the work has not started. Once work has started, if it is discontinued for a period of twelve months, the permit will immediately expire.

I Am Opening A Business, Do I Need A Business License?

No, but you will need to apply for a Change of Occupancy Permit with the Building Inspections Department.