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The City of Wilson Inspections Department is now performing Live Remote Inspections for all occupied dwellings (exception: life safety and imminent danger situations).

LR inspections utilize today’s technology (a smart phone or another handheld device) to allow a permit holder to show and demonstrate code compliance without requiring the inspector to be physically present at the project.  The use of LR inspections is voluntary.

For all requested inspections, the permit holder will be contacted by an inspector and offered the option of a Live Remote inspection.  Field staff will guide you through the process via your video conferencing tool of choice (Face Time, Skype, Google Duo, etc.).

Live Remote inspections may require additional information.  The inspector may request an email or paperwork stating the work meets the applicable NC Codes, manufacturer’s installation requirements and any other requirements.  Some inspections may be approved with exceptions and a follow up inspection scheduled for a later date.

Please note that Live Remote inspections are not mandatory and customers who do not wish to participate in the voluntary program can discuss options with field staff once contacted.   


**Beginning March 24, 2020

The City of Wilson will begin offering

Live Remote Inspections**

What is a Live Remote Inspection?

LR inspections utilize today’s technology (a smart phone or another handheld device) to allow a permit holder to show and demonstrate code compliance without requiring the inspector to be physically present at the project.  The use of LR inspections is voluntary.

Below is the list of LR Inspections that have been reviewed and approved by the North Carolina Code Officials Qualifications Board:


  • HVAC changeout inspections for residential 1-2 family dwellings and townhomes (no gas)


  • sewer and water trench inspections up to 100 feet
  • Shower pan inspection


  • PV solar residential rooftop systems


  • residential porch columns
  • manufactured home marriage line connection

Re-inspections (up to 4 non-life safety code violations):

  • Footing
  • Foundation
  • Slab
  • Building Framing
  • Insulation
  • Rough-In Plumbing
  • Rough-in Mechanical
  • Final Plumbing
  • Final Mechanical
  • Final Building

(Note: These are not first-time inspections and no additional work can be inspected than what was inspected before).

*Please click here for additional information regarding limitations, requirements and allowances.


Office Hours:

The Permit Desk is open from 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday.  Inspection requests must be received prior to 7:30 am in order to be eligible for same-day inspection.  To schedule an inspection, please call 252-399-2220.

Inspectors office hours are from 8-9 am and from 4-5 pm Monday through Friday.  All other times are by appointment.  Please contact inspectors directly for scheduling and availability.


Each inspector handles interpretations or technical inquiries.  Kevin O’Brien, Inspections Manager, handles detailed appeals.  For all other appeals you may contact the North Carolina Department of Insurance for an informal interpretation.  Formal interpretations must be requested in writing.

Informal Internal Review

NC law requires inspections departments to implement a process for an informal internal review of inspection decisions made by the department’s inspectors.  Complete this form to request an informal internal review.  For more information, call Kevin O’Brien at 252-399-2235.


Lien Law Tools


Effective April 1, 2013, North Carolina law will require that an owner (or, as typical with permit applications, the contractor on their behalf) appoint a lien agent when they first contract for improvements to real property.  A lien agent is a title insurer or agent also registered as a lien agent with the NC Department of Insurance.

Excerpt from North Carolina G.S. 160A-417:

(d) No permit shall be issued pursuant to subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of this section where the cost of the work is thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) or more, other than for improvements to an existing single-family residential dwelling unit as defined in G.S. 87-15.5(7) that the applicant uses as a residence, unless the name, physical and mailing address, telephone number, facsimile number, and electronic mail address of the lien agent designated by the owner pursuant to G.S. 44A-11.1(a) is conspicuously set fourth in the permit or in an attachment thereto.  The building permit may contain the lien agent’s electronic mail address.  The lien agent information for each permit issued pursuant to this subsection shall be maintained by the inspection department in the same manner and in the same location in which it maintains its record of building permits issued.

For additional information please visit:

Please call 252-399-2235 or e-mail with any questions.


Before You Build


Please call 811 to have all underground utilities, pipes and wires located before you start to dig.  They require 48 hours notice.  If you accidentally destroy any utility lines you would be liable for any damage that results.


Before beginning on a new job site or having an electrical service relocated or changed, please contact the Utility Department at 252-399-2424 to have the proposed location of the electrical services spotted.  Failure to do this may result in incurring charges or having to relocate equipment that has already been installed.

State law requires that an erosion control plan for land disturbing activities be filed with the state at least 30 days prior to beginning activity and be approved prior to construction.  Failure to follow erosion control procedures required by the law could result in a fine.  Willful noncompliance is considered a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment not to exceed 90 days, or by fine or both. An injunction to stop construction may be issued.  Contact the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) for more information on state requirements.

Commercial jobs require site review and approval.  Please contact Land Development at 252-399-2220 - Option 3 then 1.


General Information


Almost all interior and exterior work requires a building permit to be issued prior to beginning construction.  Performing work without a permit may put you in jeopardy of receiving a late charge and possibly a stop work order.

To report work that is being done illegally you may call 252-399-2220.  We want to help you comply with the laws and we strive to provide maximum review time of three days on construction plans.  If your project requires a site or subdivision plan these also require adequate time to review.  Please contact Land Development at 252-399-2220 - Option 3 then 1 if you have any questions.

To apply for permits or obtain information such as permit status or fees please go to the Inspection Division, first floor of City Hall, 112 Goldsboro Street E. or call 252-399-2220.  Inspection requests must be scheduled before an inspector will visit.

You may check the status of an inspection by looking for stickers inside the front door jamb of the building.  Each inspector will apply either a green, red or white sticker after completing their inspection.  The green sticker signifies an approved rough-in inspection.  A red sticker signifies a failed inspection.  A white sticker signifies an approved final inspection.

For information on zoning compliance, setbacks, flood information, watershed information or Land Development matters please call 252-399-2220 - Option 3 then 1.

To report an overgrown lot or an abandoned/junked vehicle located on private property please call 252-399-2220.

To report an abandoned vehicle on the street please call the Police Department at 252-399-2323.

Contractors may request temporary permanent electrical service in the Inspections Division.  Homeowners acting as their own general contractor should contact a Customer Service representative.  If you would like to apply to have your permanent electrical service released temporarily, you must first sign an affidavit with the Inspection Division and pay a $200 deposit to enter the program.  An order request must also be made with Customer Services for the utilities to be turned on after the service has been released by us.

Same Day Inspections

Any inspection received by 7:30 am will be scheduled for the same day.  Any inspection request received after 7:30 am will be placed on the schedule for the next business day.  To help improve the efficiency of our operations all inspection requests, other than those accepted below, should be made after the work is complete and ready for inspection.  We will not be able to accommodate requests for specific time inspections (AM/PM inspections).  Those exceptions include: footings, below slab, emergency pressure tests, electrical service change outs and open ditches including water and sewer new or repair of line from the meter to the structure.  These exceptions requests must be received by 7:30 am the day of request with the time indicated for inspection request.

Current Building Codes

The NC Department of Insurance maintains detailed building codes that regulate all aspects of the construction process.  Free access to the Current North Carolina State Building Codes is available online.



Inquiries regarding the building code or a building inspection may be directed to the Code Enforcement Officer 252-399-2220 - option 1 then 3. To check the status of your plan review, you may call the Inspections Department at 252-399-2220 - option 1 then 3 then 1.

To change the use of a building, please contact Construction Standards at 252-399-2220 - option 1 then 3 to speak with an inspector.  The building may have to be brought up to code depending on the new use of the building.

Certificates of Occupancy will be issued for completed sites by the Inspection Division after all other applicable departments have signed off on their approval.

Permit Application & Plan Review Fee

A permit application and a plan review fee must be submitted prior to review of all commercial or residential construction plans.

Building Permit Expiration

Note that all job sites must obtain first inspection within six months of permit issuance and at least one inspection per year to keep the permit valid.

Review Schedule

Both Residential and Commercial Construction plans will be assigned and reviewed in the order in which they are received by the Permit Desk. If a contractor has several plans for review, upon submission please specify to the Inspections staff if there is an order of priority for your plans.  We will make every attempt to accommodate your request, but cannot adjust the priority of one set of plans over plans currently under review for other contractors.



To report illegal electrical work or work being done without the proper permits please call 252-399-2220.  Any building, commercial or residential, which has not had active utilities in the last year must be inspected by our Electrical Inspector.  You may dial 252-399-2220 to set up an appointment.  This inspection must be performed to ensure that the electrical wiring is safe.


Any gas service that has been turned off for one (1) year or more must have a pressure test conducted and inspected on the gas lines.  This is performed to ensure that there are no gas leaks on the lines before gas service is delivered to the building.

You may fill out an application to apply for a gas tap at the Permit Desk, located at City Hall (112 Goldsboro St E).

Any questions regarding location or installation time should be referred to the Gas Division at 252-399-2432.

If you think that you may smell gas or may have a leak, call the Gas Division immediately at 252-399-2432.


To report water or sewer problems causing a health hazard, such as leaking sewage or a lack of water, please call 252-399-2220.

To apply for water and sewer taps you may fill out the application at the Permit Desk, located at City Hall (112 Goldsboro St E).  The order is then forwarded to Public Services.  Any questions regarding location or time of installations can be answered by Lynn Wilson for water or sewer taps at 252-296-3403.

To inquire about water and sewer taps or any fees associated with connecting to the water and sewer lines, please contact Bryant Bunn, City Engineer at 252-399-2465.

For problems with residential interior plumbing, please call Tommy Clifton, Code Enforcement Officer at 252-399-2222.

For information on the Backflow Prevention Program, contact Mark Sommers (Public Services) at 252-296-3406.

Top 10 Code Violations

  1. ELEC: Need Ground Bar And Two Ground Rods At Service Entrance.
  2. ELEC: Need Nail Plates To Protect Wiring.
  3. ELEC: Need To Label Electrical Panels.
  4. MECH: Need To Seal All Duct Joints.
  5. MECH: Need 4″ Clearance Between Bottom Of Duct And The Earth.
  6. MECH: Base Of HVAC Unit Needs To Be Elevated 2″ Above Finish Grade.
  7. PLUMB: Water Heaters Need To Be Elevated 18″ When Installed In A Garage.
  8. PLUMB: Purple Primer Needs To Be Used On All PVC Piping Joints.
  9. BLDG: Need Proper Fire Blocking.
  10. BLDG: Need To Install Rafter Ties.

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