Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked Questions

When is a Building permit required?

Building permits are required for any owner, contractor, or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert, or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical, or plumbing system. Further, as stated in our Town Ordinances §150.002, Where valuation (material and labor) does not exceed $1,000, no permit is required. In most instances a building permit may be required, here are some exceptions:

  • One-story detached accessory structures used as storage sheds, playhouses, and similar uses that are less than 200 square feet. *Note-See Below.
  • Oil derricks
  • Retaining walls not over 4 feet
  • Papering, painting, millwork, and similar finish work
  • Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a group R-3 that are less than 24" deep, and not greater than 5000 gallons and are installed entirely above ground
  • Swings and other playground equipment accessory to detached one-and-two family dwellings.

*Where a building permit is not required, Site Plan approval is still required by the Department of Planning, Land Use & Neighborhoods (PLAN), per Zoning Code Section 156.50.  Review is also required by Engineering and Development Services to ensure compliancy with drainage and tree protection when required. To make application for this site only review, please email a proposed site plan for proper review. For more information on how to do this, please call (843) 884-5184.

When in doubt please call our office to verify if your scope of work would require a building permit. Work started without a permit can carry heavy fines and the possibility of the issuance of a ticket.

How do I make building permit application?

The Building Inspection Division has accepted online applications since 2013. We encourage you to visit our website to find our application portal. Building plans that will accompany your online application must be in a .pdf format and uploaded at the bottom of the online application portal. Please click here to be directed to our applications page.

How can I locate the TMS Number of our property?

You can use the Interactive GIS Map online to search for an address to get your TMS number and current Zoning on your parcel of land.  Click here for our GIS System.

What is the flood zone of my property? 

You can use the Interactive GIS Map online to search for an address and to help get current Flood Zone.  Click here for our GIS System.


We haven’t picked a contractor yet; can I still apply to get our permit application in line?

You may make application while a job is currently out for bid. The application will need to be completed with the contractor as TBD. The project will undergo Plan Review in the normal time frame however a permit will NOT be issued until the selected contractor makes building permit application via our online portal.

I have submitted my building permit application online, now what?

You will receive an email confirmation typically within 24 hours or less from time of submittal. We will confirm we have received everything needed for Plan Review at that time and communicate anything we feel may be missing or outstanding. We will also confirm what the current estimated lead-time for plan review at that time.

How much will my building permit cost?

Building permit fees are based on the total cost of construction, including all labor and materials.  Please be sure to visit our Fee webpage where you can view our Building Permit Fee Schedule, click here.  Keep in mind impact fees may apply to your project and information about Impact Fees can be found here.

When are my building permit fees due? What payment methods are accepted by the Town?

Building permit fees are due at the time of permit issuance. If you are a licensed contractor obtaining a building permit, a business license fee may also be due. Both fees can be paid together via cash, check, VISA or MC. Checks may be made payable to the Town of Mount Pleasant.

How long is a permit valid for? Does it Expire?

Every permit issued shall become invalid unless the work authorized is commenced within 180 days after permit issuance. For permits not affected by the Building Permit Allocation Program, the Building Official is authorized to grant one or more extensions of 180 Days.

Can I change contractors during construction?

We understand that situations arise during construction and if a Contractor is released from a job, voluntarily or involuntarily, a finish construction permit can be issued to help finish the job. A written note from the property owner and/or Contractor of record will need to be submitted first to release a contractor from a job. Then, the new licensed contractor can make application to finish the job.

Can I work on my own house as the Homeowner?

Yes. State law requires residential construction be done by a licensed contractor, however, you can claim exemption to this law by completing the attached Non-Licensed Builder Disclosure. This affidavit must be recorded at the Records of Deeds Office (ROD Office) before a permit can be issued. It will be your responsibly to ensure that people employed by you have licenses required by state law and obtain required municipal licensing. You must supervise the construction yourself.

Caution: If a contractor asks you as the homeowner to obtain the permit, we advise that you reconsider. Many times, in that situation the contractor may not be properly insured, licensed or bonded and may not want to assume responsibility for his work. If you have any doubt about a contractor’s license, please call 803-896-4696 or email

How do I file a Freedom of Information Act Request (FOIA)?

What is the difference between and ADU and a Finished Room above a Garage

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s) are “a separate housing arrangement within, attached to, or detached from a single-family home (not including townhouses or duplexes), which includes a kitchen and bath separate from those contained within the principal structure, and therefore functions as a complete living unit.” The Zoning Code currently defines “kitchen” as any room principally used, intended, or designed to be used for cooking or the preparation of food. The presence of a range or oven, or utility connections suitable for servicing a range or oven, shall be considered as establishing a kitchen. The meaning of “kitchen” shall exclude a bar, butler’s pantry, or similar room or portion of a room. ADU’s can be attached or Detached but must be permissible by your neighborhood covenants and Restrictions. If you are unsure if your neighborhood allows ADU’s, please check with your HOA.

A Finished Room over a Garage (FROG) is livable space that does not contain the presence of a permanent means of cooking or utility connections for cooking appliances. They can, however, contain a wet bar, microwave oven, bar or butler’s pantry.

What is a Registered Design Professional/ Do my plans have to be stamped by a SC Design Professional?

An individual who is registered or licensed to practice their respective design profession as defined by the statutory requirements of the professional registration laws of the statue or jurisdiction in which the project is to be constructed (i.e. Architect or Engineer). Some projects will require that the building plans submitted be signed and sealed by a South Carolina Registered Design Professional, it is best to contact our office if you have questions about your specific project.

Do I need a formal site plan done by a surveyor?

It depends. For many projects, you may supply us with a hand drawn site plan if you know where your property meets and bounds are. The purpose of a site plan is to illustrate where the proposed structure/addition will be constructed in relation to property lines, setbacks and easements. We can help you determine fs a formal survey is required based on the scope of work. Please contact our office for additional questions.

Do you issue Dock Permits?

Dock permits are issued from your local Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, OCRM. For more information visit

How can I track progress of my submittal?

Currently we do not have a means by which residential projects can be tracked on our online portal. You are always welcome to call or email us to obtain the status of your project. Some commercial projects may be found on our Commercial Projects Database page. Please click here to check on your commercial project. If you would like your commercial project listed, please contact the Planning Department at (843) 884-1229.

I have some changes to make after my permit was issued?

We understand that changes occur while projects are under construction. We ask that all field revisions be emailed back to us for plan review and approval. Please be sure to only send pages that are germane to the changes and all changes must be clouded for identification. Typically work cannot move forward until said changes are reviewed and approved.  Please email field revisions to the Division Coordinator.

Can I get a Clearing and Grading permit to get started?

Contractors and residents who plan to proceed with clearing and grading activities that disturb or alter land on a single-family parcel must have a stormwater management and tree preservation permit prior to the release of most building permits. Examples of projects that will require this new permit are construction of a new home, improvements or additions to an existing home, construction of a pool or any detached structure. You can make application for both permits simultaneously. For more information about the stormwater management and tree preservation permit click here.

Contact us

Building Inspection Division
​100 Ann Edwards Lane
​Mount Pleasant SC 29464
​(843) 884-5184