Important Inspections Updates

Schedule a Planning Department Inspection for C/O Sign-Off

The following link will assist you in scheduling a Planning Department Inspection for Certificate of Occupancy sign-off.

New Updated Land Development Office (LDO) Website

COVID-19 Updates

Due to the COVID-19, starting Monday, March 23rd., City Hall will be closed to public access.  The Inspections Department staff can be reached by phone or email.

  • Applying for trade permits will continue by accessing our Land Development Office (LDO) website.
  • Building permit applications can be applied for by using the Dplans website.
  • Requesting inspections can be scheduled through the LDO website.
  • Field inspections will continue, but will be limited.  Inspections in occupied buildings and HVAC replacements in occupied homes will not be conducted at this time due to concerns for the health of the occupants and our field personnel. Please contact the Chief of your trade to discuss any concern with your inspection.
  • Third party inspections and live remote video inspections will be considered with prior approval. Please contact the Chief of your trade to discuss further.
  • Plan reviews will continue, but only through digital communication.
  • All fees pertaining to the Inspections Department will be paid online through the LDO portal. We will not be accepting currency or checks by mail and we do not have the ability to take credit cards over the phone.

COVID-19 Guidance for Inspections Customers

The City-County Inspections Department has enacted additional restrictions on movement and the operations of business in response to the COVID-19 crisis. During this critical time, we are committed to meeting the demand of the construction industry, while protecting the health and safety of our customers, staff and the community we serve.

Durham City-County Inspections stands ready to meet customers’ inspections needs as long as they are legally allowed to maintain operations. As part of meeting that need while protecting customers and staff, with the support of the N.C. Department of Insurance, we will temporarily be increasing our use of Live Remote inspections (LRI). LRI are inspections that are conducted via “video chat” with a contractor onsite. This is being implemented for the safety of all involved parties and will only be applicable for the duration of Durham’s Stay at Home Declaration.

Effective immediately, all inspections in occupied residential units (including single-family homes, duplexes, townhouses, individual apartment units, condo units, etc.) will only be inspected via LRI.

At this time LRI will be available for all inspections in occupied residential units except the following:

  • First-time structural framing
  • First time trade rough-in inspections
  • Temporary power/temporary utility connections
  • Final inspections for occupancy approval
  • **The qualifying inspections are subject to change as the situation evolves**

Inspections will be scheduled as normal through our Land Development Office online at https://ldo4.durhamnc.gov/durhamweb.

  • In the comments section add the note “COVID-19 LRI request."

Be prepared to have personnel onsite with a suitable electronic device, with adequate connectivity, to accommodate a face-time (or equivalent) connection with inspections staff when they arrive.

Once complete, the inspector will terminate the call and inspections results will be entered as normal. All inspections results – pass or fail, will have the note added “COVID-19 LIVE REMOTE INSPECTION."

Staff will make every effort to provide a complete inspection, as we normally do for in-person inspections. However, as with in-person inspections, it remains the contractor’s ultimate responsibility to provide a code-compliant project (N.C. Administrative Code and Policies – Section 204.5.1).

Inspections not Eligible for LRI

New commercial and new residential construction inspections will continue in person. However, we ask that the work area to be inspected be cleared of occupants or construction personnel and staff except for those needed for testing of any systems. Existing commercial occupancies requiring inspections will be assessed on a case by case basis by the applicable trade chief. Any personnel needed to be in attendance should be prepared to answer the following questions prior to initiating the inspection:

  1. Do you or anyone at the home or project site have any of the following symptoms: fever, cough, difficulty breathing?
  2. Have you or others in your home had known close contact to someone with COVID-19?
  3. Have you or others in your home traveled outside the country within the past 14 days? Countries that have a Level 3 Travel 

Health Notice can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html
If the answers to all three questions are “no”, then we will proceed with the inspection with the project vacant or, if assistance is needed, while exercising social distancing per CDC guidelines. If the answer to any of the 3 questions is “yes”, then the inspection will be marked as inaccessible without a chargeable failure and the inspection request will need to be resubmitted after 14 days and symptoms have resolved (if applicable).

We understand that we are all in this together, while needing to remain apart for now. Our hope is that these guidelines will help us all continue to operate our businesses while we are legally authorized to do so. Thank you for your continued partnership in facilitating code compliance success in Durham. Also, thanks to our partners at Charlotte Mecklenburg Code Enforcement for their assistance and sharing of resources.

The Inspections Department would like to thank our customers and the development community for your patience and understanding during this difficult time.

Enhanced Plan Review - Commercial and Residential

The Inspections Department is excited to announce the Enhanced Plan Review is now available for any permits meeting the Enhanced Review criteria.  Please download the Enhanced Plan Review document for instructions and plan review criteria.

Please direct all inquiries about our Enhanced Plan Review process to the Durham City-County Inspections Department Enhanced Review Scheduling Coordinator Scott McCorkle:

  • Call (919) 227-0782
  • Email Scott
  • Speak to Scott in person (during normal business hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Solar Photovoltaic Systems

As of October 1, 2019, all Solar Photovoltaic Systems - both Commercial and Residential - will require a building permit.