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Residential Plan Review

Residential Plan Review 
Plan review for residential construction includes any new construction, renovations, additions, alterations, and demolitions for any one and two-family dwellings within the City of Charleston.

How do I know if I need to get a permit? 
Establish your scope of work and evaluate with the below: 
residential does and doesn't

What's the process?

  • New Construction Process:  Submit for plan review at the Permit Center located a 2 George Street. If property is located within the Historic District, be sure to have BAR approvals prior to submitting for review with Customer Service Coordinator. For process and checklist, see SFN checklist. The City of Charleston's goal is to review and approve all submittals within a 10-day time frame. 

Requirements at time of submittal:
Application
IECC form
RESCheck (if needed - does not replace IECC)
Manual J (supplied by HVAC contractor)
2 Full Building Sets (half-size preferred) - signed and sealed by licensed design professional in SC
3 Site plans with tree statement
V-Zone Breakaway Wall Certificate (if property is located within a V-Zone)
V-Zone Design Certificate (if property is located within a V-Zone) 

  • Renovations, Alterations, Additions: Submit for plan review at the Permit Center located a 2 George Street.  Before submitting for plan review, check to see if your property is located within the Historic District. If so, please see BAR for approvals prior to submitting with Building Inspections. If changing the use of the building, the footprint, or removing grand trees, you will also need to see Zoning

Requirements at time of submittal with Building Inspections: 
Application
IECC form (if major construction)
Manual J (if major construction or HVAC work - supplied by HVAC contractor)
3 full sets of plans - signed and sealed by licensed design professional in the State of SC 
V-Zone Breakaway Wall Certificate (if property is located within a V-Zone)
V-Zone Design Certificate (if property is located within a V-Zone)

  • Demolitions: Before submitting for plan review, check to see if your property is located within the Historic District or in the Design Review Jurisdiction. If so, please see BAR and DRB for approvals prior to permit issuance. For all demolitions, Engineering approval is required prior to permit issuance. Applications can be submitted to the Permit Center located at 2 George Street. 
Requirements at time of submittal with Building Inspections: 
Application
DHEC Asbestos Compliance

What if I (property owner) want to act as the general contractor? 
If you are the property owner and are interested in acting as your own contractor, SC State law will allow for an exemption if you meet and follow the below requirements.   

  • The total cost of construction (renovation or new) must be $5,000 or more.
  • You must occupy the built or improved residence for 2 years after the work is complete otherwise you will be in violation of this exemption.
  • Any person(s) employed by you are required to have proper and current CITY and STATE licenses.
  • Construction must comply with all laws, codes, ordinances, and regulations.

How to file as your own contractor in Berkeley and Charleston County:

STEP 1:   Obtain the Disclaimer and the Non-licensed owner’s intent to build form from either City of Charleston, Berkeley County or County of Charleston available in person or through website.
STEP 3:   Complete all required sections of each form. Non-licensed owner’s intent to build form will need to be notarized. 
STEP 4:   File Non-licensed owner’s intent to build form with respective County. 

Berkeley County Residents: File with Register of Deeds Office at 
1003 Highway 52, Moncks Corner, SC 29461-6120 and pay all associated recording fees

Charleston County Residents: File with RMC office located at 101 Meeting Street, RM 201 and pay all associated recording fees.

STEP 5:  Return to the City of Charleston Permit Center at 2 George Street with Disclaimer form and a copy of both the notarized non-licensed owner’s intent to build form and the recording receipt attained from the Register of Deeds Office or the RMC Office. 


What is the permit process? 
  • Step 1: All contractors must have updated STATE and CITY licenses before obtaining permit. Business License process. 
  • Step 2: Complete a Building Permit and Plan Review Application or Subcontractor Application with all required information listed. 
  • Step 3: Visit a permit clerk located in the Permit Center at 2 George Street with application and other requirements. 
  • Step 4: Permit clerk will issue either a permit placard. The permit placard must be visible at the job site. 
  • Step 5: Complete work and call for inspections

What are the Certificate of Occupancy (CO) Requirements for my construction? 
Please refer to the Inspections Procedure page for more information or the download the Inspections required for CO - Residential Document.