As a homeowner can I be my own contractor and do I need a building permit?


As a homeowner, you can be your own contractor, as long as you comply with state law.

But before you do anything, call the Building Codes Office (843-525-7040) to see if a permit is required before beginning  any work.

Permits are required if you, as the homeowner, or your authorized agent (your contractor), intend to:

  • Construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish or change the occupancy of a building or structure or
  • Build, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert, or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical, or plumbing system

South Carolina state law requires work to be performed by an appropriately licensed contractor. A homeowner may act as their own contractor as long as they are in compliance with South Carolina state law (40-59-260). The state law exception will require that a homeowner’s disclosure statement be completed with the Beaufort County Register of Deed’s office and submitted along with the permit application.

Why are permits needed?

The reason for the permits is a simple one. It is to ensure adequate maintenance of buildings and to adequately protect the health, safety, and welfare of the people and to ensure compliance with the applicable regulations. The codes are ever changing and sometimes a homeowner may not be aware of these changes. We ensure that the work is performed properly and meets standards. 

Show All Answers

1. What are the requirements to do work in the City of Beaufort?
2. As a homeowner can I be my own contractor and do I need a building permit?
3. What information do I need to provide the City in order to obtain a building permit?
4. When must I pull a permit and how long does it take for a building permit to be approved?
5. As a business owner or rental property owner can I be my own general contractor?
6. How long is a permit good for?
7. How do I file a complaint regarding weeded lots or trashy conditions around a house?