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Johnston County, North Carolina
Planning and Zoning Department

When and Why Building Permits are Required

Johnston County Inspections Department
309 E. Market St. Smithfield, NC 27577
Phone: (919) 989-5060
Fax: (919) 989-5431

Are you thinking about doing a few simple home improvements? Even small home improvement projects may require a building permit. Faulty installations can cause fire and flood damage as well as other hazards. They can also force you to make costly repairs, should you decide to sell your home.

Below are simple facts about building permits and their accompanying inspections. Compliance with building codes help to protect your family's safety and increase the value of your home at resale.

When are permits required?

  • Additions / Remodels
  • Finishing the Upstairs or Attic Space
  • Detached Accessory Structures that exceed 12' in dimension or are more than one story
  • New or Replacement of Mobile Homes
  • All Decks and Porches
  • Pools, Portal Storable Pools "Seasonal", and Spas that hold more than 24" of water
  • Retaining Walls
  • Mechanical Change outs (HVAC)
  • Electrical Repairs
  • Replacing Roof (Structural Changes)
  • Hook onto County Water and Irrigation Systems
  • Demolition permits

*Note: The above listed projects are examples of required permits, you will need to contact the Building Inspections office at 919-989-5060 for specific projects not listed.

Johnston County Building Permit image

When are permits not required?

  • Cosmetic work (painting, wallpapering, replacing cabinets, replacing vinyl siding, replacing shingles, etc.)
  • Replacing existing doors and windows with NO structural changes
  • Minor repairs to plumbing and electrical systems by licensed contractors (without changes to the original system)
  • Fences

Special Note:


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Page last updated: February 2, 2024

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Land Use Center
309 E. Market Street
Smithfield, NC 27577

(919) 989-5150