l FAQs - City of Beaufort, South Carolina

FAQs


What are the requirements to do work in the City of Beaufort?

  1. A permit is required for most work/improvements (Excluding some interior remodeling including painting, doors, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work).

  2.  General Contractor requirements:

  • A City of Beaufort Business License is required
  • A South Carolina State License for either a:
    • Residential Home Builder (Residential work only)
    • Specialty Contractor (Residential work only – not to exceed $4,999.99 or be bonded through SC Labor, Licensing, and Regulations (LLR))
    • General Contractor (Residential) or (Commercial work over $5,000)

    3.  Electrical, Plumbing, Gas and Mechanical Contractors:

  • A City of Beaufort Business License is required
  • A South Carolina State License for either a:
    • Specialty Contractor (Residential work only – not to exceed $4,999.99 or be bonded through SC Labor, Licensing, and Regulations (LLR))
    • S.C. Mechanical Contractor's License (Residential) or (REQUIRED for ALL Commercial work)
  1. A homeowner who owns his own home and lives there and is performing work himself may be issued a permit. A homeowner cannot work on a home he owns that is for rent or for sale per Section 40-11-360(5) of the Contractors' Licensing Act.

  2. Any individual performing work on someone else's property is considered a contractor and is required to have the above items listed in 1 and 2.

CAUTION: If a contractor requests that the owner obtain the permit, PLEASE DON'T. If this happens, the contractor may not be properly licensed, bonded, and therefore may not want to be responsible for his work. If you have any doubt as to a contractor's qualifications, please do not hesitate to call 525-7040.

As a homeowner can I be my own contractor and do I need a building permit?

Many homeowners are not aware when a permit is required. Whenever a homeowner undertakes either renovations or additions to a dwelling or is installing or replacing a heating appliance, water heater, installing an electrical fixture or fixtures or outlets, they must first obtain a permit for the work. A phone call to our office should be made prior to the work commencing so that we may provide you with the proper applications and/or information. The reason for the permits is a simple one. It is to ensure adequate maintenance of buildings and to adequately protect the health, safety, and welfare of the people and to ensure COMPLIANCE with the applicable regulations. The codes are ever changing and sometimes a homeowner may not be aware of these changes. We ensure that the work is performed properly and in a workmanship type manner.

What information do I need to provide the City in order to obtain a building permit?

  • The proper forms will need to be completed and information provided that will be needed to issue a permit.
  • You will need the total cost of the project (i.e. cost of materials and labor).
  • You will need to list any and all sub-contractors that will be required to complete the project.

When must I pull a permit and how long does it take for a building permit to be approved?

  • A permit is required fort most work/improvements (Excluding some interior remodeling including painting, doors, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work).
  • Approval time depends on the type of permit you're requesting.Permit applications that require plans to be reviewed will take longer to review before issuing.

As a business owner or rental property owner can I be my own general contractor?

  • Residential - No. Per Section 40-11-360(5) of the Contractors' Licensing Act states an owner may perform the work himself provided that the structure, or appurtenances, including the improvements, are intended for the owner's sole occupancy or occupancy by his or her family and not intended for sale or rent and the general public does not have access to the structure.
  • Commercial – For non-residential projects, work performed by the owner is limited to nonstructural and non-mechanical portions of the project.

How long is a permit good for?

  • A permit is good for six (6) months from the date of issue. An extension may be granted if the owner or contractor can provide a reason why the extension is warranted.

How do I file a complaint regarding weeded lots or trashy conditions around a house?

  • You can put your complaint in writing and mail, email, or fax it to, 1911 Boundary St., Beaufort, SC  29902 – email: citycodes@cityofbeaufort.org or Phone: (843) 322-7965 or Fax (843) 986-5606