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

Obtaining Building Permits

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

Chatham County Online Permitting Portal




APPLIES TO THE FOLLOWING: Single Family Dwellings, Modular Dwellings, Multi-Family, Residential Accessory Structures, Residential Additions, Commercial Structures, Residential and Commercial Alterations

Step 1 – Environmental Health:

  • For new sites, obtain the Improvements Permit (IP), Construction Authorization Permit (CA) and Well Permit. For existing sites, obtain a Setback Compliance Permit for replacement dwellings with existing water and/or sewer systems.

  • Environmental Health must issue the a fore-mentioned permits prior to applying for a building permit with Central Permitting. 

  • Environmental Health may request a Flood Plain Determination from the Chatham County Planning Department.
    Click here for more information on Environmental Health permits.

Step 2 –911 Address:

  • Contact Emergency Operations at (919) 545-8161, to secure a new 911 address or verify an existing physical address. NOTE: Building permits will not be issued without correct address information.

Step 3 – County Water:

  • Contact Chatham County Utilities at (919) 542-8270 to verify availability of county water. Keep a copy of the tap fee receipt for submission to Central Permitting.

Step 4 – Plan Submittal:

  • Residential Projects:  1)  A hard copy set of plans must be on the job site at the time of inspection.  2)  All heated and unheated square footage must be listed on plans (including areas to attics with full size doors with 7' or greater ceiling height and will be counted as storage).  3)  Floor layout required (rooms labeled as to their use)  4)  All structural aspects of plans must be included (including load points)  5)  All pole (column) construction without a foundation must have a North Carolina design professional seal (unless Ag Exempt)

  • Commercial Projects: One copy in pdf format and two final sets of plans including Appendix B must be submitted and stamped reviewed by Building Inspections and the Fire Marshal’s Office for commercial projects.  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

  • Plan information must include: intended use (commercial applications only);  footing/foundation; floor plans; elevations; typical wall section; and structural plans (I-beams, joists, girders, rafters, etc.).

  • Modular plans must include footing/foundation information. If the modular will have a deck that exceeds 6' x 6' or 36 sq. ft., or will have porches and/or ramps constructed, then detailed plans for these structures must also accompany the footing/foundation plans. Environmental Health will also need to be notified of decks, porches and ramps.

  • Deck details as per Appendix M in the NC 2018 residential code need to be reflected on plans. 

  • Any rejected plans, hard copies must be updated and resubmitted (sending corrections via email is not acceptable.)

  • Square footage's of all habitable and non-habitable rooms, garages, porches, decks, storage spaces must be on plans. (Full size doors opening into an attic space will be considered storage space)

  • All engineered structural components must reflect prescriptive installation instructions as per design professional.

  • Please allow seven business days for residential plan approval and fourteen business days for commercial projects. Central Permitting will call when plans are approved.

  • Plans must be submitted and reviewed before issuance of a building permit.

  • Plans must be accompanied by a completed building permit application.

  • NOTE Drawings that are submitted that state NOT FOR CONSTRUCTION or FOR PLAN REVIEW ONLY will be returned WITHOUT ANY PLAN REVIEW FOR CODE COMPLIANCE.  Drawings submitted for review shall be finalized design drawings ready "FOR CONSTRUCTION."

Step 5 – Building Permit Application:

  • Click here for permit applications

  • Applications are also located near the customer service counter at the Central Permitting Office. Applications can be faxed or emailed upon request.

  • All pages of the application must be completed.

  • Important information needed: the landowner's name and address, the 911 address, the tax parcel number, total number of bedrooms and bathrooms, specific directions to the building site from Pittsboro. The permit application must indicate company names and license numbers for the general contractor as well as the electrical, mechanical and plumbing contractors. A building permit cannot be issued without this information.

  • Lien Agent designation - Contractors must designate lien agents for all projects where the total cost of improvement is $30,000 or more (excluding improvements to an existing single family residence that is occupied by the owner).  A copy shall be submitted to the Central Permitting Department at the time of application.  Click here for step by step instructions for appointment of Lien Agent.

  • Individuals acting as their own contractor must be the landowner, permit applicant and the person signing the application. The landowner also must complete the work and reside in the home for at least one year upon completion. An owner’s statement form will need to be obtained from Central Permitting, completed and notarized.

  • Submit the completed application with permits obtained from Environmental Health to Central Permitting at the time of plan submittal.

  • Central Permitting will complete the Tax Information section at the top of page one and request that the application be taken to the Chatham County Planning Department for approval of page two. If the property is located in the Town of Pittsboro’s Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ), the application will need to be taken to the Town of Pittsboro’s Administrative Office located at 41 Fayetteville Street for zoning approval.

  • Central Permitting will review and process the permit application.

Step 6 – Securing Building Permits:

  • The applicant will be notified of plan approval by Central Permitting.

  • Following plan approval, the applicant may obtain their building permit from the Central Permitting office.

HOURS: Permits are issued daily from 8am to 4:00 pm.


IMPORTANT: Failure to obtain the appropriate permit(s) before commencement of construction shall result in a double permit fee


Free viewers are required for some of the attached documents.
They can be downloaded by clicking on the icons below.

Acrobat Reader Download Acrobat Reader Flash Player Download Flash Player Windows Media Player Download Windows Media Player Microsoft Silverlight Download Microsoft Silverlight Word Viewer Download Word Viewer Excel Viewer Download Excel Viewer PowerPoint Viewer Download PowerPoint Viewer