Inspections and 

Developers review building plans Building under construction Construction work taking place Building inspector looks over construction work

NC Building Codes


Building Code Regulatory Reform, or NC House Bill 255, has become law in North Carolina, effective Oct. 1, 2015. Some of the changes to the bill that may impact customer are:

  • Increases the threshold for when a single-family residential construction, repair, and replacement work requires a permit. When the cost of the project is $15,000 or less (previous requirement was $5,000) a building permit would not be required. Note: No matter the cost most electrical, mechanical and plumbing changes, along with the addition, repair or replacement of load-bearing members or structures, like decks, carports, garages, backyard storage buildings, room additions, finishing unfinished attic space, or sub-floor repairs always requires a permit.
  • Creates a separate residential code committee that will review issues and recommend changes to the state Building Code Council related to one and two family dwellings.
  • Provides for architects and engineers to certify selected elements or components in one- and two-family dwellings, if a report is provided to the local code enforcement authority.
  • Requires that the state Department of Insurance/Building Code Council must post commentaries and code interpretations on the Web.

Complete text of the law is available here

Water and Sewer Related Changes, or House Bill 538, has become law in North Carolina, effective Aug. 11, 2015. This bill requires municipal wastewater systems to accept the collection of liquid condensate from residential heating and cooling systems. Historically, the condensate, or liquid that results from the operation of residential heating and cooling units, is drained outside the house. However, with the instillation of new high efficiency units that produce more condensate, drain lines have been freezing in the winter, resulting in no heat and broken lines.

In all cases this work would require a permit and inspections by the Town of Cary, and would need to be performed by a licensed plumbing and mechanical contractor.

Complete text of the law is available here.

For the safety of our citizens, the North Carolina General Assembly requires local governments to create an inspections department to perform the duties and responsibilities set forth in NC § 160A-412.  These duties include enforcement of state and local laws relating to the construction and maintenance of buildings and other structures, and the installation of plumbing, electrical, hvac systems, fire alarms and sprinklers.

For uniformity, the NC State Building Code is adopted and amended by the NC Building Code Council for implementation across the state.

The purpose of this code is to establish minimum requirements to safeguard public health, safety and welfare. Per section 8-52 of the Town of Cary Code of Ordinances, the Town has adopted the North Carolina State Building Code. The only building regulations enforced by the Town are those found in the state-adopted Building Code in force at the time of permit for construction.

Codes currently used in the State of North Carolina

(Above link will take you to electronic copy of the following codes)

  • 2012 North Carolina Administrative Code
  • 2012 North Carolina Building Code
  • 2009 ICC ANSI A117.1, Accessible and Usable Buildings
  • 2012 North Carolina Plumbing Code
  • 2012 North Carolina Mechanical Code
  • 2012 North Carolina Fuel Gas Code
  • 2012 North Carolina Fire Prevention Code

Effective date 6/1/12

  • 2011 National Electrical Code
  • 2012 North Carolina Residential Code
  • 2012 North Carolina Energy Conservation Code

Effective date 7/3/12

  • 2012 North Carolina Residential Code
  • 2012 North Carolina Energy Conservation Code

Effective 3/1/12

(use was optional 1/1/12 – 2/29/12)

  • 2015 North Carolina Existing Building Code

Effective 3/1/15

  • NC Rehabilitation Code

Effective 1/1/10 – Expires 3/1/18

(3-year overlap with existing building code)

Additional Resources
Information about the North Carolina State Building Codes, the Building Code Council, Code Interpretations and temporary rules are available from the NC Department of Insurance - Office of the State Fire Marshall.