For the latest information on coronavirus, or COVID-19, including service and program impacts in Chatham County, please visit the coronavirus webpage.

Central Permits & Building Inspections

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 Service Changes due to COVID-19

All functions in Central Permitting, Building Inspections and the Fire Marshal’s office will continue during the coronavirus pandemic, however service levels will be reduced due to staffing and access issues. The lobby to the permit office which includes Planning, Environmental Health and Watershed Protection will be closed to the public at 5:00pm on March 17, 2020 until further notice. We are closing the lobby in order to minimize risk to employees and ensure adequate service levels for the duration of this health emergency. We strongly encourage you to use the Online Permitting Portal to submit your applications electronically. If you do not have access to the internet or need to leave your plans, please use one of the designated drop boxes in the main lobby of the building.

Permitting- It is suggested that clients use the Online Permitting Portal to submit permits, schedule inspections and pay fees. You may drop off completed applications and related documents with your check in our drop box (be sure to put in appropriate Department’s box, they are labeled). Customer service staff will be available by phone at 919-542-8230 or email to assist clients, please be patient as they answer many calls each day. It is suggested you use email for most questions or items. See our staff directory for contact information.

Building Inspections- Inspections that are scheduled will be done as time and staffing allows. This may mean a longer than normal wait for an inspection, so plan accordingly. Plan review and permit processing will also be done during this time, but could be delayed. 

Fire Marshal’s Office- The Fire Marshal and assistants will be conducting routine fire inspections at established businesses and inspections of newly permitted ones under construction.   They will also be processing and reviewing plans such as fire alarms and sprinkler systems.   There may be some delays with permitting and inspections depending on staff availability.

All services will remain operational but at a reduced level, please be patient during this time.  We will not be meeting clients in the office and we are requesting everyone in the field to maintain a safe distance from each other.

Any changes will be posted here, so check back for additional updates. 

3rd Party Inspection Procedure 

In reference to § 160A-413.5 and the guidance paper provided by the OSFM; the Chatham County Inspections department has provided a written procedure addressing 3rd party inspections. 

Effective immediately, 3rd party inspections on components and elements must completed on the Chatham County Inspections Department 3rd Party Inspection Form (attached in this document and linked for reference).  This form is to be completed by the North Carolina registered design professional responsible for the inspection.  No other form or document will be accepted.  This form must be available on the jobsite or in the Portal to the Chatham County Inspector at the time of inspection.

3rd party inspections are not a substitute for Chatham County inspections and therefore must have prior approval before acceptance.  Inspections must still be scheduled by the permit holder and inspectors must do a site visit to verify the component or element of the 3rd party inspection.

If a 3rd party inspection was conducted and the Chatham County 3rd Party Inspection Form is not available on site or in Portal, the scheduled inspection will be resulted as “Fail With Fee.”  Upon receipt and acceptance of the inspection form, the inspection may then be resulted as “Passed w/ Conditions,” provided the re-inspection has been scheduled.   

Note: these requirements do not apply to the required Special Inspections and tests listed in chapter 17 of the NC Building Code. 

Click Here for 3rd Party Inspection Form



For all projects:  All permitted projects must maintain a Permit Box that is weather resistant and sufficient to protect required documents* within.  Exceptions:  documents may be posted inside a job trailer or inside an occupied home.  This box must be conspicuously posted on the job site and accessible to inspector.

The Site Record Card with the Plans & Specifications must be available to the Inspector at all times and must be kept in the permit box, job trailer or existing home.  Failure to have required documents available for the Inspector will result in the inspection being rejected and subject to an extra trip fee.

Residential Projects:

Chatham County Inspections will perform single trade inspections for new single family homes that are located in the townships of Williams, New Hope, Center, Baldwin and East of Hwy 87 in Hadley.  Prior to the building final inspection, all trades must be approved or building final will be rejected.  Prior to framing inspection, all trade rough-in inspections must be approved or the framing inspection will be rejected.  In general, the plumbing and mechanical rough-ins or finals should be done before electrical rough-in or final; and must be done prior to building framing or final inspections. 

Commercial Projects: 

All commercial building finals will be scheduled on an appointment basis and must be scheduled at least 3 days in advance of date desired.  This inspection will include Building and Fire Inspectors and may include Zoning and others as needed.  Please contact Customer Service via phone or email to set up these inspections.  You will be notified of what time it is set for and to avoid any fees must be cancelled by at least the day prior to scheduled inspection.

All multi-tenant buildings shall provide a suite/tenant addressing plan to number all spaces.  This must be done on the floor plan and for each floor of the building.  This plan is to be approved by EM prior to shell or full building permit being issued.  It will be required that the first numeral indicate the floor level, the first floor is determined by which level has access at grade to outside.  If more than one level has at grade access it will be determined by EM.

A Shell Scope form is to be submitted with any shell building permit.  It is not required for footing/foundation permits or a full building permit with a single tenant.  Any multi-tenant building must be permitted as a shell and be finalled prior to issuance of tenant upfit permits.    Click Here for Shell Scope Form


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The mission of Central Permitting is to:

  • Issue building permits and manage building inspections in an efficient, courteous manner in accordance with state and local laws and regulations.

  • Maintain an updated database of inspections and related information to support the work of related departments and to provide effective customer service.

The mission of the Inspections Office is to:

  • Enforce the Federal and State laws, North Carolina State Building Codes, local ordinances and regulations relating to the construction of buildings and administration of the fire code. 

  • Respond to the needs of developers and builders while balancing the safety of our citizens, all of which influences development cost, profitability, and the quality of construction in Chatham County.

NOTE: The Fire Marshal’s Office is also part of Central Permitting. For more information on that office, click here.

»»We do not accept any money transactions after 4:00 p.m. daily. There is an additional 3% fee added on to any credit card transaction.««


Designed as Helpful

Click here to find out more about a new consolidated pre-application form to guide applicants through the existing process of contacts and approvals required for hosting special events in Chatham County. There are no changes in types of events requiring permits or any other regulations.






  • Issue residential and commercial building permits

  • Inspect residential and commercial construction, additions and renovations

  • Review plans for construction work

  • Schedule required inspections

  • Release utilities, such as gas and electricity

  • Issue Certificates of Occupancy




Building Permit Expiration and Refund Policy - Effective April 6, 2009

OFFICE LOCATION: 80 East Street, Pittsboro (behind the BP station and Hardee’s).

OFFICE HOURS: 8 am to 5 pm, Monday-Friday, except holidays

PHONE: (919) 542-8230

MAILING ADDRESS: P. O. Box 548, Pittsboro, NC 27312

DIRECTOR: David Camp


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