There is an old saying that it’s easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission. When it comes to Outer Banks permitting, this is definitely not the case. When you are considering any project, you want to make sure you ask about required permits. The various town and county entities on the Outer Banks require a variety of permits depending on the project.
Make sure you are doing your homework in the right jurisdiction first. There are 6 incorporated towns on the Outer Banks which have jurisdiction over building permits. Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head and Manteo are the incorporated towns. Every other location falls either in Dare or Currituck County. Two areas that may seem to be within a town but are actually within the County are Martins Point and Colington Island.
Non-Compliance penalties can be quite stiff and your renovations may be removed. Further, any NON-permitted changes to your property may not qualify as improvements. This can lead to problems later when you sell your home or property. While your contractor may assist you with permitting, ultimately, it is your responsibility to comply. When in doubt, DO YOUR HOMEWORK FIRST!
Permitting on the Outer Banks can be tricky, time consuming, and expensive. Non-compliance will only make it worse. Make sure you are aware of all issues as you are ultimately responsible as the property owner.
In addition to a Building Permit, if your property is oceanfront, sound front, or adjoining any body of water, you may need a CAMA permit. Again, do your homework to make sure you comply. Ask the folks that issue your building permits about a CAMA permit. They are the authority, ask. Remember it is your responsibility to comply, as you are the property owner.
Very few communities on the Outer Banks have a public septic system. If you are doing any expansion of your home, or building a new one, you will be required to provide an adequate septic system. Usually this consists of a septic tank and drainage field. The County authorities will determine if your existing system can accommodate any expansion to your home.
All Outer Banks permitting will ultimately need to be inspected and approved before usage is granted. Again, if you hire a contractor, they should advise you regarding inspection schedules. However, you are ultimately responsible for compliance. Ask about the various stages of inspection for your particular project when you acquire your permits. Keep your property, your family, and your guests safe.