Building Permits FAQ
Q: When is a building permit required?
A: A permit is required any time you construct, enlarge, renovate, move, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, renovate, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by the Building Codes Ordinance. A permit to install or replace a manufactured home is required regardless of the cost of installation.
Q: Is any work exempt from building permitting?
A: The following items do not require a building permit:
- Ordinary repairs and maintenance
- Retaining walls unless supporting a surcharge
- Water tanks
- Sidewalks, driveways and patios
- Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets and similar cosmetic finish type work
- Swimming pools accessory to a one or two family dwelling
- Swings and other playground equipment accessory to a one or two family dwelling
- One-story detached storage structures accessory to a one or two family dwelling, provided that the floor area does not exceed 500 square feet
- Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes and not including service systems
- Window awnings supported by an exterior wall
- Movable cases, counters and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches in height
Q: Who can take out a building permit?
A: A homeowner can obtain a permit to perform construction on his own residence provided that the home is not offered for sale or rent for a period of two years. Anyone he hires to work on his residential property should be licensed with the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulations for the work they are performing if the cost of that work exceeds two hundred dollars. If you hire a contractor to build, renovate or add onto your home you should require the contractor to obtain the building permit. If you obtain the permit in your name, you, not the contractor, will be held responsible for any deficient work the contractor performs even if you sell the property. The permit fees are the same for both contractors and homeowners alike.
A homeowner, licensed electrician or licensed dealer may obtain the permit to install a manufactured home.
If the total cost of construction on a commercial project exceeds $5000 a general contractor’s or mechanical contractor’s license issued by the South Carolina Contractor’s Licensing Board will be required to obtain the permits. The type and scope of work will determine what permits are required and what classification of contractor’s license is needed.
Q: Where do I go to get a building permit?
A: Our offices are located on the fourth floor of the Lexington County Administration Building located at: 212 South Lake Dr., Lexington, SC 29072
Business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
Our phone number is (803) 785-8130 and our fax number is (803) 785-5186.