Code EnforcementCode Enforcement

The code enforcement department issues building permits and inspect new construction and improvements to all buildings located within the unincorporated area of Horry County.


Functions

The major function of code enforcement is to issue building permits and inspect new construction and improvements to all buildings located within the unincorporated area of Horry County. The building inspection branch of the Code Enforcement Department also manages the enforcement of the National Flood Insurance Program and performs annual fire inspections on commercial buildings located in the unincorporated areas.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a building permit?
"It shall be unlawful for any person to construct or improve any building at a cost in excess of five hundred dollars ($500.00) (including materials and labor) outside the corporate limits of any municipality in the county, unless an application has been filed with and a permit granted by the county building inspection department."..."The fee for the permit shall be set by the county council. This provision shall not apply to any free standing residential building 200 square feet or less (excluding commercial)." Horry County Code of Ordinances, section 6-3. This shall not apply to replacing shingles or carpet unless structural sheathing is to be replaced.

 

Work Exempt from Building Permits (per section 105.2 of the 2012 International Building Code)

Exemptions from permit requirements of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this code or any other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction. Building permits shall not be required for the following.  However, a Zoning Compliance may be required.  Please inquire.

  • Building
    1. One-story detached accessory structures used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided the floor area does not exceed 200 square feet for residential and 120 square feet (11 m2) for commercial use.
    2. Fences not over 7 feet (1829 mm) high.
    3. Oil derricks.
    4. Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet (1219 mm) in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge or impounding Class I, II or IIIA liquids.
    5. Water tanks supported directly on grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons (18 925 L) and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2:1.
    6. Sidewalks and driveways not more than 30 inches (762 mm) above adjacent grade, and not over any basement or story below and are not part of an accessible route.
    7. Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work.
    8. Temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery.
    9. Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a Group R-3 occupancy that are less than 24 inches (610 mm) deep, do not exceed 5,000 gallons (18 925 L) and are installed entirely above ground.
    10. Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes, not including service systems.
    11. Swings and other playground equipment accessory to detached one-and two-family dwellings.
    12. Window awnings supported by an exterior wall that do not project more than 54 inches (1372 mm) from the exterior wall and do not require additional support of Group R-3 and U occupancies.
    13. Nonfixed and moveable fixtures, cases, racks, counters and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches (1753 mm) in height.
  • Electrical
    1. Repairs and maintenance: Minor repair work, including the replacement of lamps or the connection of approved portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles.
    2. Radio and television transmitting stations: The provisions of this code shall not apply to electrical equipment used for radio and television transmissions, but do apply to equipment and wiring for a power supply and the installations of towers and antennas.
    3. Temporary testing systems: A permit shall not be required for the installation of any temporary system required for the testing or servicing of electrical equipment or apparatus.
  • Gas
    1. Portable heating appliance.
    2. Portable ventilation equipment.
    3. Portable cooling unit.
    4. Steam, hot or chilled water piping within any heating or cooling equipment regulated by this code.
    5. Replacement of any part that does not alter its approval or make it unsafe.
    6. Portable evaporative cooler.
    7. Self-contained refrigeration system containing 10 pounds (5 kg) or less or refrigerant and actuated by motors of 1 horsepower (746 W) or less.
  • Plumbing
    1. The stopping of leaks in drains, water, soil, waste or vent pipe, provided, however, that if any concealed trap, drain pipe, water, soil, waste or vent pipe becomes defective and it becomes necessary to remove and replace the same with new material, such work shall be considered new work and a permit shall be obtained and inspection made as provided in this code.
    2. The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures and the removal and reinstallation of water closets, provided such repairs do not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes or fixtures.
What do I need to get a building permit?
  • If your building or addition is a commercial type the following types of information must be submitted for review, regardless of size. (all plans must be drawn to scale) (allow twenty days for review)
    • Completed building permit application
    • Four copies of Site plans drawn to scale with existing and proposed structures, property lines with dimensions, streets, easements, and setbacks.
    • Completed NOI (Notice of Intent) form, if required for Stormwater review. Form available on the Stormwater Webpage under Permitting Information or by calling (843) 915-5160.
    • Two complete sets of architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing plans along with two(2) civil/site plans, showing the fire hydrant location.
  • The following information must also be submitted for commercial buildings prior to issuance of the building permit:
    • Verification of sewer service from DHEC or appropriate Sewer Company
    • Plan review approval from the Murrells Inlet/Garden City Fire Department if the building is located within their fire service area (tel. 843.651.5143)
    • Copy of contractor's license and a notarized letter allowing someone to act as his/her agent if someone other than license holder is picking up.
    • Notarized letter of authorization from property owner of record authorizing contractor to obtain building permit.
  • If your building or addition is a residential one or two family dwelling type and less than or equal to four hundred (400) square feet the following type of information must be submitted for review. (all plans must be drawn to scale)
    • Completed building permit application
    • Two site plans drawn to scale (zoning compliance)
  • If your building or addition is a residential one or two family dwelling type and is greater than four hundred (400) square feet the following quantities and types of information must be submitted for review. (all plans must be drawn to scale) (allow three to five days for review)
    • Completed building permit application
    • Two site plans drawn to scale: Plans: 2 copies of plans drawn to scale with wind and seismic design per 2012 IRC (with original SC engineer or architect seal).
  • The following information must also be submitted for residential one and two family buildings prior to issuance of the building permit:
    • Verification of sewer service from DHEC or appropriate Sewer Company
    • Contractor document (contractor license information and if someone other than contractor is obtaining permit must have notarized letter of authorization to secure permit for contractor
  • Regardless of building type, if the building is located within a 100 year floodplain as identified by the National Flood Insurance Program, additional information will be required. Contact the Horry County Floodplain Manager for additional information.
How much does a building permit cost?
New Commercial buildings
A plan review fee of fifteen (.15) cents per square foot must be paid when plans are submitted for review. If the plans can be approved, the building permit will cost thirty (.30) cents per square foot when permit is issued and will be a minimum of fifty dollars ($50) plus Zoning fees. Plan revisions will cost a minimum fee of twenty-five dollars ($25).
New Residential one and two family buildings
A plan review fee of ten (.10) cents per square foot must be paid when plans are submitted for review. If the plans can be approved, the building permit will cost twenty-five cents (.25) per square foot when the permit is issued and will be a minimum of fifty dollars ($50) plus Zoning fees. Plan revisions will cost twenty-five dollars ($25).
Mobile homes
A $5.00 registration fee (if registered within fifteen (15) days of purchase, if not a $5 penalty will be added) must be paid to the Horry County Tax Assessors Department (843-915-5041) prior to issuance of building permit. All taxes must be paid on any pre-owned manufactured home before it can be registered and mobile home decal or moving permit issued.
  • New Mobile Home:
    1. Title
    2. Form 400
    3. Form 100/500 with complete MH description
  • Used Mobile Home:
    1. Information listed in #1
    2. Previous owner's name or name listed on tax rolls
    3. Sticker # off MH
    4. All taxes paid
  • Mobile Home moved into Horry County from another county or state:
    1. Information listed in #1
    2. Moving permit issued by the county/state
    3. Paid tax receipt for current year from other county

If the mobile home permit can be issued, the building permit will cost one-hundred fifty dollars ($150) plus Zoning fees.

Alterations: Building permit costs will be based on appendix B of the 1997 Standard Building Code plus Zoning fees.

Common Terms

Alteration
Any change or modification in construction or occupancy.
Base Flood
The flood having a one percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.
Breakaway Wall
A wall that is not part of the structural support of the building and is intended through its design and construction to collapse under lateral water loads.
Building
Any structure built for support, shelter or enclosure for any occupancy.
Coastal High Hazard Area
An area subject to high velocity waters caused by, but not limited to, hurricane wave wash. These areas are designated on a FIRM as Zone VE or V.
Elevation Certificate
A federal form that must be completed by a licensed surveyor or engineer that verifies the Base Flood Elevation, the height of the top of the lowest floor or the height of the bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member above Mean Sea Level.
Enclosed Building
A building that encloses a space and does not have openings that qualify it as a partially enclosed building.
Existing Construction
Any structure for which the "start of construction" commenced before June 26, 1978.
Farm Buildings
Structures, other than residences and structures appurtenant thereto, for on-farm use (barns, sheds, poultry houses, etc.).
FIRM
Flood Insurance Rate Map
Floodway
The channel of a river or other watercourse and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation more than one (1) foot. Engineering analysis is required for any development or fill in a floodway.
Floor (lowest)
The top surface of an enclosed area in a building (including basement), i.e., top of slab in concrete slab construction or top of wood flooring in wood frame construction. The term does not include the floor of a garage used solely for parking vehicles.
Habitable Space
A space in a structure for living, sleeping, eating or cooking.
Highest Adjacent Grade
The highest natural elevation of ground surface, prior to construction, next to the proposed walls of a structure.
Main Wind Force Resisting System (MWFRS)
An assemblage of major structural elements assigned to provide support for secondary members and cladding. The system primarily receives wind loading from more than one surface.
Open Building
A building having all walls at least 80% open.
Repair
The reconstruction or renewal of any part of an existing building for the purpose of its maintenance.
Site
A parcel of land bounded by a property line or a designated portion of a public right-of-way.
Substantial improvement
Any combination of repairs, reconstruction, alteration, or improvements to a building, taking place during a five year period, in which the cumulative cost equals or exceeds fifty (50) percent of the market value of the building. Substantial improvement of a non-conforming building is prohibited. The term does not apply to improvements required by health, sanitary, or fire and life safety codes which are solely necessary to assure safe living conditions.

Major Projects

We are currently trying to place mobile computers in all of the building inspection cars so that as soon as an inspection is completed the inspector can download pass/fail data into the mainframe computer. Builders will then be able to pick up a telephone, call the computer, and retrieve results of an inspection by entering building permit number.

Interesting Facts

  • Plans for assembly, educational, institutional and hazardous occupancies regardless of size and all commercial buildings five thousand (5000) square feet or greater or three or more stories in height must be prepared by licensed architect and engineers.
  • All buildings constructed in an AE flood zone shall be elevated so the lowest floor is located not less than twelve (12) inches above the level of base flood. Proper height must be verified by an "finished construction" elevation certificate.
  • All buildings constructed in a VE flood zone shall be elevated so the bottom of the lowest supporting horizontal member is located not less than twelve (12) inches above the level of base flood. Proper height must be verified by an "finished construction" elevation certificate.
  • All buildings constructed in a flood zone A without an established base flood elevation shall be elevated so the lowest floor is located not less than twenty-four (24) inches above the highest adjacent grade. Proper height will be verified by the building inspector. An elevation certificate must be completed by the homeowner or licensed surveyor/engineer.
  • Mobile homes located in a flood zone shall have a platform for the air conditioning condenser constructed above the level of base flood in order for the inspection to pass.
  • The Horry County Code Enforcement Department is currently enforcing the following codes and editions along with their referenced Standards:
    • International Building Code
    • International Fire Code
    • International Fuel Gas Code
    • International Mechanical Code
    • International Plumbing Code
    • International Energy Conservation Code
    • International Residential Code for One and Two Family Dwellings
    • National Electrical Code

Department Well

Department Head
David Jacobs
Contact
Phone: (843) 915-5090
Fax: (843) 915-6090
Mailing Address
1301 Second Avenue Ste. 1D09
Conway, SC 29526
Physical Address
1301 Second Avenue
Conway, SC 29526
Office Hours
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday through Friday

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