An Update for Our Customers: Building Code Reform Law Now in Effect

A Message From Code Enforcement

An Update for Our Customers: Building Code Reform Law Now in Effect

House Bill 255, also known as N.C. Building Code Reform, went into effect in North Carolina Oct. 1. 

We’re still learning what impact the law will have on the way we serve our customers, but here’s what we know so far:

  • The law mandates that Mecklenburg County code officials (inspectors) perform a complete inspection at each requested visit. This will require a change from our previous approach, in which an inspection was suspended if the inspected work reached a certain threshold of “too many defects to list” or was not ready when the inspector arrived on site. Now, inspectors will complete all inspections, and for one- and two-family dwellings, will provide a list of incomplete or outstanding code compliance issues.

    What does this mean for your inspection response time? We don’t know yet. As you are aware, construction activity is at a five-year high in Mecklenburg County and County Code Enforcement has added several inspector positions and has been actively recruiting to hire inspectors for months. This new requirement will place even greater strain on available inspection time, because many inspections are expected to take longer. We are committed to designing a solution -- which may involve hiring more inspectors and some process changes to meet ongoing customer demand -- because we understand that project schedules are critically important. We have already done some preliminary planning and will further develop the solution in collaboration with the Building Development Commission as we determine the actual and ongoing impact to our response times.
  • The law provides that single-family residential construction, repair, and replacement work may be done without a building permit when the cost of the project is $15,000 or less – the previous requirement was $5,000. Note: Some building work, no matter the cost, always requires a permit. This includes most electrical, mechanical and plumbing changes, along with the addition, repair or replacement of load-bearing members or structures, like decks, carports, garages, backyard storage buildings, room additions, finishing unfinished attic space, kitchen cabinet replacement, or sub-floor repairs.
  • The law provides for separate residential/building code committees that will review issues particular to residential development and recommend changes to the N.C. Building Code Council.
  • The law provides for architects and engineers to certify selected elements or components, eliminating the requirement for plan review and inspections on those items, if an independent inspection is performed by the same architect or engineer and a signed/sealed report is provided to the local code enforcement authority.
  • The law requires that the state Department of Insurance/Building Code Council must post commentaries and code interpretations on the web within 10 business days.

We have already implemented some process changes and are working to evaluate the impact of this law on our response times.  We are committed to keeping you informed and serving you well.

If you have questions about how these changes may impact a project currently under way, please contact your inspections team manager:

North Inspections Team
Jeff Griffin, 704-634-8847,

South Inspections Team
Steve Pearson, 704-336-4155,

Mega-Multifamily Inspections Team
Andy Herring, 980-722-9259,