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.


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, etc. (exuding small storage buildings that do not exceed 12 feet in any dimension)


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.


For better service we ask that if you are applying for a Building Permit, please come to the office before 3:00 pm Monday through Friday.
You will need your building plans, sewer approval and water approval (if applicable) from McDowell County Environmental Health, City of Marion, or Town of Old Fort.


All activities within the City Limits of Marion are permitted through the City of Marion Building Inspections Department, their # 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 Director of Inspections.


For your convenience please take advantage of our online permitting available 24/7 at