How to Apply for Durham County Building Permits

Planning Permissions How to Apply for Durham County Building Permits

Easily Apply for Durham County Building Permits

Home is where the heart is. Our homes are important places, but sometimes they need extra help keeping up with us. Home improvements keep your home up to your tastes and help your house keep up with your lifestyle. In short, changing your house is what keeps it feeling like home.

But actually changing it isn't that easy. Finding the right people to do the right job can be hard, and then you have to worry about who and how to ask for permission. Many home improvement projects need . The idea of digging through building codes and filling out forms is enough to turn anyone off from home improvements entirely. DoNotPay has an easy solution to help get over the first hurdle of a home improvement project.

What Projects Need a Building Permit in Durham County?

There is a long list of projects that need a building permit in Durham county. They include but are not limited to:

  1. Accessory structures like carports and sheds
  2. Some decks and porches
  3. Fences that are over a certain height, or around a pool
  4. Walls that are over a certain height, including retaining walls
  5. Mobile homes that are not placed in a rural lot
  6. Swimming pools

Interior changes may also need a permit, depending on the scope of the work. For example, electrical work may require a permit in Durham county. A qualified, licensed electrician needs to request a permit from the Durham county Electrical Inspector.

Other projects, like plumbing or renovations, may also need permits. Chasing down the rules for every aspect of your project is a lot of work. That's in addition to the high cost of permits.

How Much Does a Durham County Building Permit Cost?

A few things go into the cost of getting a building permit:

Type of ProjectThere are different fee schedules for different types of projects. Single-family homes, renovations, and multi-family homes all have different building permit costs, for example.
Square FootageThe size of the project determines the cost of getting a building permit. If you are building a new home, expect to pay per square footage for the permit. When it comes to renovations, the permit costs depend on the cost of the project.
Plan Review FeesEvery project has a base cost, independent of the details. The plan review fee is usually less than $200 but can be higher for some fee schedule types.

Getting a permit from Durham County for building a new home or getting renovations can be costly. That's in addition to the time and attention you'll need to dedicate to getting the permit.

Getting a Durham County Building Permit on Your Own

After determining the scope of the project and the building permit application fee, you're all set to start filling out the paperwork.


There are two ways to request building permits in Durham county:

  • Online. This is better for electrical, plumbing, or mechanical permits.
  • Submit a paper application. The links to these applications are available online.

There are more than 20 application types and documents on the website. You won't need to fill out everyone for every project type, but there is a lot of paperwork to sift through.


If your home is part of an HOA, you will need to jump through extra hurdles to get your building permit. Luckily, DoNotPay can help navigate permissions from the HOA and Durham county, in 6 easy steps.

How to Apply for a Building Permit Without a Hassle in Durham County With DoNotPay

If you want to apply for a building permit without hassle in Durham County but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 6 easy steps:

  1. Go to the Planning Permissions product on DoNotPay.
  2. Choose one of the following options:
    1. Check whether your project needs a building permit or if it's exempt
    2. Generate a permission request letter to send to your HOA
    3. Generate a guide on how to complete the building permit application
  3. Choose the focus of your project (new ADU, pool, shed, fence, etc.) and answer a few questions about your plans, including the size of the structure and estimated cost.

  4. Indicate whether you're hiring a contractor and include the estimated start date and timeline for the project.
  5. Indicate whether any public sidewalk/street space will be used during construction.
  6. And that's it! DoNotPay will help guide you through the building permit process by checking if your project needs a building permit, contacting any HOAs you're a part of to request building permission, or generating detailed instructions on how to start and complete your building permit application process.

DoNotPay takes the hard work out of requesting a building permit. The online, automated product will help you deal with the HOA and the county government at the same time. It's fast, easy, and successful!

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

DoNotPay can help you get building permits, not just in Durham County, but also in other places like:

DoNotPay can also help you solve other problems such as:

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