City-County Inspections Department

The City-County Inspections Department administers and enforces the North Carolina State Building Code and the zoning ordinances for both the City and County of Durham. The Department ensures the health, safety and welfare of the public and strives to support the City’s Strategic Plan goals of a Strong & Diverse Economy, Safe & Secure Community, Thriving, Livable Neighborhoods, and Innovative & High Performing Organization, as well as the County’s Strategic Plan goals of Environmental Stewardship and Community Prosperity and Safe Community.


City-County Inspections Responsibilities

  • Conducting inspections of building projects in progress
  • Issuing Certificates of Compliance
  • Providing information on requirements for manufactured homes, family care homes, day care facilities, floodplain management and impact fees
  • Reviewing applications for Building, Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing, Fire and Sign Permits
  • Reviewing permits for construction activity
  • Reviewing plans

Latest News & Information


On April 1, 2019, the Durham City-County Inspections Department discontinued our charge account system and implemented a "pay as you go" system, in which all Inspections Department fees are paid through an online portal.  In an effort to make this transition as smooth as possible, we have allowed past due balances from our old charge account system to have no impact on permitting or inspections since April 1, 2019.

Moving forward, customers with past-due balances on their old charge account will be given until July 1, 2019 to pay their past-due balances.  After this date, customers with unpaid past-due balances will not be allowed to either apply for permits or schedule inspections on existing permits until the past-due balances are paid in full.

You may contact the Durham Finance Department to inquire about possible amounts due on your old charge account.  You will need either an old bill or your account number(s) when you contact the Finance Department.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we phase out the charge account and billing system.
Changes are Coming

The Durham City-County Inspections Department is changing the way you will pay for your permits.

In the past, we have utilized the monthly general billing service through the Finance Department within the City of Durham.  Starting April 1, 2019, all permits and any inspection related fees will be paid online using a credit card, debit card, or by electronic check.  The fee for credit cards and debit cards will be 3.3% of the total fee.  Electronic checks will be assessed a .50 cent processing fee no matter the amount.  These fees are handled by a third party payment service.  All contractors will be required to have an active email address on file.

On July 1, 2018, the Inspections Department required a plan review fee for all building plan reviews.  This was postponed in August 2018 for multiple reasons.  On April 1, 2019 the building plan review fee will be re-instated.  All review fees will need to be paid before the application will be placed in the queue for review.

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New procedures and services added on July 1, 2018:

  • All building plan reviews will require a plan review fee at the time of building plan application submittal.  The amount of the plan review fee will be subtracted from the cost of the building permit fee at the time of permit issuance.  If the building permit application exceeds six months with no activity, the building permit application will be voided, and the plan review fee will not be refunded.
  • All building plan reviews will be submitted digitally through the Dplans site. We will no longer accept paper plans. (Commercial and Residential)
  • Click on the Dplans link for instructions for all plan submittals.
  • New Fire Permits are required.  Please refer to the Building Fee Schedule for more detail.
  • After Hour Inspections are available for a fee.  Please refer to the specific trade fee schedule or call the Chief or Supervisor for more detail.

  • Enhanced Plan Review – This is a face to face meeting in our office whereby the owner’s design/construction team and the Inspections Department staff meet over the construction drawings and work collectively to make the drawings code compliant.  This is an optional plan review service that helps construction projects needing to meet financing deadlines and other timetables.  All plans must go through one round of the standard plan review process, before they are eligible for the Enhanced Plan Review.

Please Note:  The Enhanced Plan Review is a new initiative and goes into effect on July 1, 2018.  Currently, this will not be available until the appropriate staff have been hired and are in place.  Continue to check here for updates.

Land Development Office (LDO)

The LDO system allows contractors to schedule inspections, review results of inspections, check on status of permits, check on the plans review status of building permits and Certificates of Compliance and apply for mechanical, plumbing, and electrical permits online:
This link is for Building Inspectors only For the trades, please us the LDO system.

Informal Internal Review

Per G.S. 160A-412 and G.S. 153A-352, each inspection department shall implement a process by December 1, 2017 for an Informal Internal Review of inspection decisions made by the Department’s inspectors.  The Internal Review Form for requesting an Informal Internal Review is available in our office or by clicking on the link below.  Once the form is filled out, please submit it to the Chief or Field Supervisor of that trade.  For more information on the internal review process, please call our main number at 919-560-4144.