How to obtain permits

All construction work in the City of Charleston requires a permit to be obtained before work begins. Homeowners may do their own work as long as the proper permits are obtained and an inspection confirms that the work performed is up to code. Homeowners should never obtain a permit on behalf of someone else due to possible legal issues later.

The City of Charleston Building Department issues permits for residential and commercial new construction, remodeling, additions, repairs, maintenance, fences, roofs, replacement windows, siding, retaining walls, driveways, accessory structures, sign installation, tanks and pumps, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and permits for excavations in city right-of-way. Submit all permit applications to the Permit Coordinator, City of Charleston Building Department, 915 Quarrier St Suite 5, Charleston, WV 25301

If there are no existing problems with your B&O account or extenuating circumstances, your permit may be paid online using a debit or credit card or checking account number. Have your permit number ready when you go to pay (obtained from the Permit Office, 304-348-6833). Once the Building Department receives payment confirmation a copy of the permit can be forwarded via email, fax, post or in-office pick-up. Debit or credit cards are not accepted in the City Collector’s Office at this time.

Construction permit fees are assessed using the Schedule of Permit Fees and are waived for construction total job cost up to $2,500.00. The Contract Certification will need to be filled out for job costs exceeding $10,000.00 for work without an existing contract.

Electrical, plumbing and HVAC permit fees include a wide range of amounts for different services. Please see the permit applications for exact amounts and any other requirements.

Sign permit fees are calculated on the square footage of each ground, roof, wall, projecting, billboard or marquee sign face as follows: $50 minimum to erect; $.50 per square foot nonelectrified; $1.00 per square foot internally lit electrical; and $.75 per square foot externally lit electrical. Temporary banners cost $15.

All demolition permits require an asbestos report and information on location and capping of storm and sewer lateral(s). Please see the permit for complete instructions

Contractors who fail to obtain a permit before starting work face a minimum $100 fee or a fee equal to twice the normal permit fee, whichever is greater. Contractors will also be subjected to a minimum of a 3-month suspension of their City of Charleston license and possible rejection of a future license with the City. All required inspections, including the final inspection, must be obtained to remain in good standing.