Depending on your location and the nature of your home improvement project, you may or may not need a residential building permit. In this blog post, we’ll cover some of the types of residential projects that generally require a permit and those that don’t.
Whether you have plans for a backup generator system or a new roof, your first step before undertaking any installation or construction should be checking with Horry County and/or the City of Myrtle Beach for compliance and permits. In addition to the frustration of having a project come to a screeching halt, you may also face hefty fines for building without a permit. In the end, the permitting process is to ensure safety and compliance with the International Building Code (IBC).
Always Check Local Jurisdiction to See if You Need a Permit
Horry County’s Code Enforcement is our local office for building permits within the unincorporated part of the county. If you are within Myrtle Beach city limits, visit the City of Myrtle Beach Construction Services office.
Don’t listen to what a neighbor or friend tells you. If you don’t know for certain, check with one of these offices. It’s also possible that building codes have changed, so take the time to call and know for sure before you begin.
Consider Homeowner Association By-Laws Before Building
Neighborhoods and HOA can have their own requirements in addition to Myrtle Beach and Horry County permits. You may need your project cleared by your HOA architectural review committee (ARC) before you can begin. ARCs frequently require application for changes to structural and exterior aesthetics to your home and property.
This is often true for any additions, renovation, fences, exterior color changes, and mechanical additions like generators. Avoid fines and penalties, as well as anger from your HOA neighbors, by completing any ARC forms before you begin.
Do I Need a Building Permit for My Project?
As a general rule of thumb, projects that include structural modification to your home require a permit. This means that home additions and structural renovations where you are removing load-bearing walls definitely require a permit. Altering your roof line, adding fireplaces/chimneys, adding mechanical components, and enlarging windows also typically require permits.
What doesn’t need a permit? Cosmetic changes like paint and flooring as well as changes like countertops and crown-molding don’t require permits.
Additionally, adding something like a privacy wall in your yard or pouring a slab patio may not require a permit, but it’s always helpful to check with Myrtle Beach and Horry County just to be sure.
Permits Exist for Safety’s Sake
Though obtaining a permit may seem like a hassle, it serves an important safety purpose. Building codes exist for our own safety. By adhering to building standards, we can have confidence that our home is safe.
When you work with a reputable design-build team, you can feel confident that all work meets all structural, electrical, and environmental standards.