Doing the Work

What is a licensed contractor?
The contractor is the company or individual who is doing a particular type of work for your project. Your contractors must be LICENSED in their respective field to work in North Carolina with one exception. You will not need a licensed builder if the TOTAL cost of your building project is less than $30,000. However, your other contractors will need to be licensed.  

What kinds of contractors will I need?

For mobile home permits:

  • Set-up Contractor (mobile home mover) or Homeowner*
  • Electrical Contractor or Homeowner*
  • Plumbing Contractor or Homeowner*
  • Mechanical (Heating/Air) Contractor of Homeowner* if installing heat pump or gas lines

*Homeowner must be occupant and must live in home for 12 months after final inspection.

For building permits:

  • General Contractor or Homeowner*
  • Electrical Contractor or Homeowner*
  • Plumbing Contractor or Homeowner*
  • Mechanical Contractor or Homeowner*
  • Insulation Contractor or Homeowner*
  • Commercial with Sprinkler--must have engineer-design or a licensed design professional

*Homeowner must own the land and be the occupant of the home , also planning to reside in the home for 12 months after final inspection, and must be present for ALL inspections unless a licensed tradesman is listed on the permit for the particular inspection scheduled.

How do I know if my contractor is licensed in North Carolina?
You can check the contractors yourself just as we do by clicking on the type of contractor you wish to inquire about in the list below, then type in their name or license number. If they are licensed in North Carolina, they will be on this website.
General Contractors

If you have a licensed general contractor who is responsible for your project, the general contractor must purchase the permit.

Can I do the work myself?
Yes--you can do any of the work yourself, but you will be responsible for being sure your work meets NC State Code requirements.  The homeowner may superintend the project and even do any of the work as long as the homeowner is the owner of the house and occupies the house.  It must meet NC State Code requirements, and the owner must retain ownership of the house for at least 12 months after completion and must be present for all inspections. IF YOU ARE DOING ANY OF THE WORK AS HOMEOWNER CONTRACTOR, YOU MUST PURCHASE THE PERMIT YOURSELF AND SIGN IT IN THE OFFICE, ATTESTING TO THE FACT THAT YOU INDEED ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE WORK. You will also have to answer some questions and sign an affidavit and be present for all inspections.

Can I get help along the way?
Yes--you can call our office between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM Monday through Friday to talk with an inspector. If they are out of the office on their inspection routes, they can return your call. You can also e-mail any of our inspectors by clicking on their name on our main department page.


Asbestos Management
Please see the following link for helpful information on asbestos hazard management, including common questions and abatement. 

Fire Inspections and Codes
(All Rutherford County except city limits of: Lake Lure, Forest City, Spindale, Rutherfordton)

Once you have an assigned building inspector, it is best to talk with him as he will know you, your site, and your project, and can best answer your questions or concerns. Until that time and for general inquiries, inspection/permit requests, or for correspondences related to your permit such as duct testing, termite verifications, permit applications, engineering designs, etc., please e-mail us at permits@rutherfordcountync.gov. Please be sure to reference your permit number if you have one assigned.