Building Inspections

McDowell County Building Inspections administers both the North Carolina mandated Building Codes and the North Carolina state mandated National Flood Insurance Rate Program regulations.

We are currently expierencing an increase in permit submittals. During times of high volume there can be a signifigant waiting time for permit approval/processing. 
If an application is submitted without ALL of the required documentation (the list is located under submittals), it will be rejected and sent back. All of the required documents can be found below. 

For your convenience all permit applications are completed through our online Application/Inspection Portal available 24/7 at

If you have any questions or need any help with our online portal there are step by step instructions/presentations below. 


Our portal does not recognize addresses, it will instead require you to enter your Parcel Number. To get your Parcel Number you go to McDowell County GIS online change the search criteria from Parcel Search to Address Search and enter the address of the property you wish to pull the permit for. When you see your property with the little dot, click on it and a box will appear on the left side of the screen. Your Parcell Number will be in the top of the box. When you enter your parcel number into the portal to create your permit, DO NOT HIT ENTER. Type in the number, wait for the dropdown box to appear, and click on it. If you hit enter, sometimes the box won’t appear.


All inspections should be requested through the online portal.

However for emergencies, please contact LaShay via text at (828)-925-2064. 


Because our inspectors cover such a large area, they make their routes by the day.

If you request a morning inspection, your inspector will come between 8:00 AM and 12:00 PM.

If you request an evening inspection, your inspector will come between 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM.

If you need them to meet you at a more specific time, reach out to your inspector their numbers are listed below. 


Building Inspector Steve Cable: (828)-925-2065


Buillding Inspector Wendell Nettles: (828)-925-0741


2023 Building Inspections Department Fees.pdf


To make a complaint fill out the form below:

McDowell County Complaint Form.pdf


For step-by-step instructions or help using our mobile system please see the PDF's below.

How To Sign Up For The McDowell County Online Portal.pdf

How To Find Your Parcel Number.pdf

How To Apply For Your Permit.pdf

How To Pay For Your Permit.pdf

How To Request Your Inspections.pdf


Printable forms for permitting. 

Owner exemption form blank.pdf

Updated Workers Comp Form.pdf

McDowell County Updated Conditional Power Form.pdf

Affidavit of On-site Wastewater Existing System.pdf


To obtain a Lien Agent Form:


Permits Required by North Carolina General Statues:


1- Residential

A. All additions to existing residential property
B. All remodeling (renovations) that affect the structural portions of the structure
C. All changes to the Electrical. Plumbing, Heating/ Cooling systems (excluding normal repairs)
D. All new structures including Houses, Garages, Shops, and Storage Buildings will require a Building Permit. (NC statutes requires any structure 12ft and greater in any dimension to be permitted).


2- Commercial

A. All additions to existing commercial property
B. All remodeling (renovations)
C. All changes to use for existing structures
D. All new structures
E. All changes to Electrical, Plumbing, Heating/ Cooling systems (excluding normal repairs)


3- Flood Plain

A. All new structures including Barns, Storage Sheds, etc
B. All land disturbing activities
C. All remodeling (renovations) to existing property

The Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM’s) can be viewed online at These maps are also available for viewing in the Building Inspections Office.


4- Pyrotechnics

All Pyrotechnic Shows must be permitted, and approved in accordance with N.C.G.S. 58 Article 82A, 11 NCAC 05D, and Chapter 56/Section 5608 of North Carolina State Building Code: Fire Prevention Code. 

All Firework Show permits must be filed at least six weeks in advance, giving time for the Board of Commissioners to meet and vote for approval. 


Pyrotechnic Legislation 11 NCAC 05D.0113

Pyrotechnic Legislation Article 58-82A


For Fire Inspections please contact McDowell County Fire Inspector MacKenzie Burnette at (828)-559-7313. 


The State of North Carolina requires a routine fire inspection to be conducted on each commmercial establishment in our jurisdiction. The frequency of these inspections is listed below. 


Once a year: Hazardous, High-Rise, Assembly, Institutional and Residential except for one and two family dwellings. In multi-family occupancies this only includes interrior common areas of dwelling units. 


Once every two years: Industrial and Educational Occupancies (Except for public schools)


Once every three years: Mercantile, Business, Storage and Churches. 



Other Inquiries


For questions about septic and well systems please contact Environmental Health at (828)-652-2921 Ext 300. 


All activities within the City Limits of Marion are permitted through the City of Marion Building Inspections Department, their phone number is (828) 652-3551.


All questions in regards to development standards in any of the above listed regulations should be addressed to the McDowell County Chief Building Offical.