Residential Construction


Information for Residential Permits

Codes Currently In Effect:
Lancaster County has adopted the 2018 International Residential Code with South Carolina modifications.

Documents Required For Submittal:
Two (2) sets of scaled drawings showing footing and foundation details, framing details, dimensioned floor plan and elevation drawings. Square footage for heated, unheated, porches, decks, garages, basements (finished or unfinished) and an electrical layout showing lights, receptacles, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. If your new home is going to be on septic tank, we will need a copy of your septic permit. 

You can submit your plans electronically but they must be signed and sealed according to state regulations.  Two sets of scaled drawings  is still required when submitting online.  

Contractors must be licensed by the state of South Carolina and must be current. Any sub contractors must also be licensed.

Owner-Contractor:
South Carolina law section 40-59-260 allows an owner to act as his/her own contractor in an owner occupied house. This does not apply to rental property. An owner-contractor affidavit must be completed and filed with the permit application. Any con-tractors hired must be licensed in South Carolina. The law states that the home to be constructed must be the personal residence of the owner and will not be sold or rented for a period of two years. This includes new construction, additions, finishing unfinished area or renovation.

Residential Specialty Contractors:
Residential Specialty Contractors are independent contractors who are not licensed as a home builder in South Carolina. They may contract with a licensed home builder, general contractor or homeowner for work when the total cost for the work including labor and materials exceeds two hundred ($200) dollars. Work exceeding five thousand ($5,000) requires an executed bond with surety to be filed with the SC Building Codes Council. Residential specialty contractors may be licensed in up to three (3) of the following areas and other areas as noted by the SC Building Codes Council:

  • Plumbers                                                                                
  • heating and air conditioning installers and repairers 
  • vinyl and aluminum siding installers
  • insulation installers                                                                  
  • floor covering installers                                                               
  • dry wall installers                                                                     
  • stucco installers
  • electricians
  • roofers
  • masons
  • carpenters
  • painters/wall paperers                                                                     
Residential specialty contractors cannot be the main contractor on any addition or new construction.

Fee Calculation:
Permit price will be determined from the contract cost for the renovation. Please include a copy of the contract with your plan review application. Permit fee will be cost x .0075. Plan review fee is ten (10) percent of permit cost.

Estimated Review Time:
Every effort will be made to complete your review within 5 to 7 business days. 

Required Inspections for Residential Construction:

Saw Pole: We do not do saw pole inspections due to the changing requirements by the utilities. After you are issued a permit, contact our office and we will send authorization for the saw pole. We send this as a courtesy only. The utilities settheir own schedule for power connection.

Footing: Before concrete is placed in a trench. Required building setbacks are also verified at this time. A compaction test may be required if the project is not on undisturbed soil.

Plumbing under slab: Does not apply to houses with a crawl space. Plumbing under slab is to be bedded with fine material, not rocks or gravel. Plumbing under slab requires a five (5) foot head test. Air may not be used to test under slab plumbing drain lines. Any plumbing piping exiting the slab must be provided with a sleeve 2 pipe sizes larger than the plumbing pipe it protects.

Electrical under slab: Does not apply to houses with a crawl space. Any electrical under slab must be in appropriate conduit.

Slab: Does not apply to house with a crawl space. Prior to placing concrete. A six (6) mil poly vapor barrier is required under all slabs including garage slabs. Reinforcing wire is also inspected a this time.

House Wrap: The weatherproof membrane placed on the exterior of the house sheathing.

Rough: Framing, electrical, mechanical and plumbing rough installation. House should be dried in with all windows and doors installed. House must be water tight. Plumbing drain lines to have a water test to the flood level rim of the highest fixture. Stoppers should not be in the bathtub. Water supply lines should be tested to 100 psi, which is the local working pressure. Gas test of 20 psi should be done at this time as well. All gas vents should be installed. Draft stopping should be completed as well.

Insulation: All previous inspections must be completed. If the house is not water tight, no insulation may be placed.

Temp Power and Gas Inspections: Panel box is to be trimmed out and all receptacles and switches in place. Luminaire (light fixture) boxes in the ceiling need to be wire nutted and taped or lights installed. Gas systems should be tested at 20 psi, approved and ready for gas service. If you have used Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing (CSST) that requires separate bonding, this should be in place. Most CSST requires bonding. Our inspector will provide gas or electrical authorization to the utility. You must have an account set up prior to our inspection with the utility for service. If your home is on a septic tank, we will need a completed signed septic permit. Without this signed permit, we cannot authorize power or gas service.

Progress: Permits expire if no inspection is done for a period of 180 days. This inspection is to allow us to monitor your progress and prevent expiration of your permit which could add additional fees to renew your permit. Requests for extension without inspection should be done via written letter addressed to the Building Official and have some documentation that work was done such as a copy of a bill from a contractor.

Final: As the name implies, everything is completed and the house has no work left to do. Exterior rough grading as well as seed and straw or sod (depending on your lot requirements) has been applied. No placement of furniture or other use of the house is to occur prior to Final inspection. After successful final inspection, we will issue a Certificate of Occupancy.

Schedule an Inspection:
You may schedule online if you have signed up, created an account and have a permit or you may call our office at (803) 285-1969. Inspections may be scheduled up to 3:00PM on the business day prior to your inspection need. Normally, if we receive your request by 3:00PM today , we will conduct the inspection tomorrow. In rare cases due to volume or the office being closed, we may have to bump your inspection to the second day. Due to the large volume of requests, we are not able to grant appointments for inspection. You do not need to be present if we have access to the area the inspection is requested. We urge you to use our online portal to schedule your inspection. It is easier for you and us and your results will be emailed to you. All pets should be confined or restrained at the time of inspection. Help us keep our inspectors safe !

Information for Deck Construction

Contractors:
Contractors must be licensed by the state of South Carolina and must be current. Any sub contractors must also be licensed.

Owner-Contractor:
South Carolina law section 40-59-260 allows an owner to act as his/her own contractor in an owner occupied house. This does not apply to rental property. An owner-contractor affidavit must be completed and filed with the permit application. Any con-tractors hired must be licensed in South Carolina. The law states that the home to be constructed must be the personal residence of the owner and will not be sold or rented for a period of two years. This includes new construction, additions, finishing unfinished area or renovation.

Residential Specialty Contractors:
Residential Specialty Contractors are independent contractors who are not licensed as a home builder in South Carolina. They may contract with a licensed home builder, general contractor or homeowner for work when the total cost for the work including labor and materials exceeds two hundred ($200) dollars. Work exceeding five thousand ($5,000) requires an executed bond with surety to be filed with the SC Building Codes Council. Residential specialty contractors may be licensed in up to three (3) of the following areas and other areas as noted by the SC Building Codes Council:

  • Plumbers                                                                         
  • Heating and air conditioning installers and repairers
  • Vinyl and aluminum siding installers
  • Insulation installers
  • Roofers
  • Floor covering installers
  • Masons
  • Dry wall installers                                                            
  • Stucco installers
  • Electricians
  • Carpenters
  • Painters/wall paperers                                                             
Fee Calculation:
Permit price will be based on a valuation of $25 per square foot. Permit fee will be valuation x .0075. Plan review fee is ten (10) percent of permit cost.

Guards:

R312.1.1 Where required.
Guards shall be located along open-sided walking surfaces, including stairs, ramps and landings, that are located more than 30 inches (762 mm) measured vertically to the floor or grade below at any point within 36 inches (914 mm) horizontally to the edge of the open side. Insect screening shall not be considered as a guard.

R312.1.2 Height.
Required guards at open-sided walking surfaces, including stairs, porches, balconies or landings, shall be not less than 36 inches (914 mm) in height as measured vertically above the adjacent walking surface or the line connecting the leading edges of the treads.

Exceptions:

  • Guards on the open sides of stairs shall have a height not less than 34 inches (864 mm) measured vertically from a line connecting the leading edges of the treads.
  • Where the top of the guard serves as a handrail on the open sides of stairs, the top of the guard shall be not less than 34 inches (864 mm) and not more than 38 inches (965 mm) as measured vertically from a line connecting the leading edges of the treads.

R312.1.3 Opening limitations.
Required guards shall not have openings from the walking surface to the required guard height that allow passage of a sphere 4 inches (102 mm) in diameter.

Exceptions:

  • The triangular openings at the open side of stair, formed by the riser, tread and bottom rail of a guard, shall not allow pas-sage of a sphere 6 inches (153 mm) in diameter.
  • Guards on the open side of stairs shall not have openings that allow passage of a sphere 43/8 inches (111 mm) in diameter.

R507.8 Deck posts.
For single-level wood-framed decks with beams sized in accordance with Table R507.6, deck post size shall be in accordance with Table R507.8.
DECK POST SIZE MAXIMUM HEIGHT
4 x 4 8 ft
4 x 6 8 ft.
6 x 6 14 ft
Measured to the underside of the beam.

R507.8.1 Deck post to deck footing.
Posts shall bear on footings in accordance with Section R403 and Figure R507.8.1. Posts shall be restrained to prevent lateral dis-placement at the bottom support. Such lateral restraint shall be provided by manufactured connectors installed in accordance with Section R507 and the manufacturers’ instructions or a minimum post embedment of 12 inches (305 mm) in surrounding soils or concrete piers.

Posts are required to be in concrete or approved anchoring device on concrete footing. Footings must be a minimum of 12 inches below the ground level with a minimum width of 12 inches and a minimum thickness of 6 inches concrete.

Deck plans may be hand drawn. Please include dimensions including joist spacing, height and flooring materials.

Required Inspections for Deck Construction:

Footing: Before concrete is placed in a trench. Required building setbacks are also verified at this time. A compaction test may be required if the project is not on undisturbed soil.

Final: As the name implies, everything is completed and deck has no work left to do. Exterior rough grading as well as seed and straw or sod (depending on your lot requirements) has been applied.

Schedule an Inspection:
You may schedule online if you have signed up, created an account and have a permit or you may call our office at (803) 285-1969. You will need to know the project address, permit number and contractors name to set up an inspection. Inspections may be scheduled up to 3:00PM on the business day prior to your inspection need. Normally, if we receive your request by 3:00PM to-day , we will conduct the inspection tomorrow. In rare cases due to volume or the office being closed, we may have to bump your inspection to the second day. Due to the large volume of requests, we are not able to grant appointments for inspection. You do not need to be present if we have access to the area the inspection is requested. We urge you to use our online portal to sched-ule your inspection. It is easier for you and us and your results will be emailed to you. All pets should be confined or restrained at the time of inspection. Help us keep our inspectors safe !

What codes do you use ?

The state of South Carolina mandates the use of certain codes for every jurisdiction in the state.  Click here to view complete copies of the current code.   You may not download or copy  from this site but you may view the code to find answers to any questions you may have. The code in effect for Houses is the International residential Code.

Lancaster County does not sell copies of the code nor are we able to provide copied sections for your use due to copyright laws.

Where do I find the Rescheck software?

Click here to access the Rescheck software site.