A permit is required when any owner, authorized agent, or contractor desires to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, or demolish a building or structure. In addition, to install, enlarge, alter, or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical, plumbing, and sprinkler systems, the installation of which is regulated by the technical codes, shall first make application and obtain the required permit for the work.

Inspections are required for all permitted work on structural changes, electrical, plumbing, and/or HVAC. Any wall that is being repaired or moved that has electrical or structural changes must be permitted and inspected. Examples of items requiring permits include but are not limited to pole barns, carports, decks, storage buildings, and swimming pools. Any addition to a structure requires a permit and an inspection. Any bathroom or kitchen addition or remodel also requires a letter from Oconee County approving the septic system. Re-roofing does not require a permit unless there is rotten decking, rafters, or overhang - any repair to structure components of the roof requires a permit and an inspection before the roof is covered. All construction must conform to current standards and codes.

The permit requirements are based on scope of work, not a dollar value, and the list of fees is available in the link below. Please note after six months of inactivity, the building permit shall become null and void, unless an extension has been granted.

Schedule of Fees

In addition to the permit application, attach a drawn-to-scale plat, showing location of proposed and existing buildings, septic system, cemeteries, pool, property lines, streams, etc. Proposed building also on the plat (1400 sq. ft. minimum). Make sure setbacks from property lines, streams and utility easements are taken into consideration (min. 50 feet from river). Check to see culvert size is at county minimum. Erosion control methods should be in place. Also, attach a copy of the contractor’s license.

After after the North High Shoals Council as approved the permit, the applicant pays the fee and is given the telephone number of the town’s building inspector and schedules the first inspection. The building inspector conducts at least 3 inspections (footing, rough, and final). Inspection fees are usually $90 per inspection. Repeat inspections, if required, are also $90. Applicant pays building inspector directly, and inspector notifies town of progress.

Required inspections include:

  • The footing inspection – temporary power pole, footings dug and ready to pour with the steel, etc.

  • The rough inspection – framing (walls, roof, doors, windows), plumbing, electrical, insulation, and hvac. Outside should be complete, unless brick.

  • The final inspection – structure is complete and re-check of all.

A Certificate of Occupancy (CO) is issued upon approval of the Building Inspector.


It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all contractors have the proper licenses. Georgia law, O.C.G.A. 43-14, requires all persons contracting or performing for hire any plumbing, electrical, low voltage, heating-air conditioning or utility work in Georgia to be duly and currently licensed by the Georgia State Construction Industry Licensing Board for that work. It is also the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the property is free of burial grounds, is not located in the flood zone, to get permission from DOT for driveways on Hwy. 186, and to ensure that “Beat Management Practices” are used for erosion control, etc.