Real Estate - Residential

Residential Permit Changes Aim To Save Builders Time, County Officials Say

By Staff Reports, posted Mar 3, 2023

A new residential building permit application in New Hanover County aims to streamline the process for single-family home builders.

"The creation of the Residential New Single Family building permit was made possible by working with our building community to simplify workflows and build upon improvements we’ve completed," said Nicholas Gadzekpo, the county's building safety permitting director, in an email. "This permit will let our customers know where they are in the permitting process, improve the time it takes to process and issue building permits and simplify how our customer schedules inspections."

The county began using COAST permitting software in 2018 and has been gathering input over the past 12 to 18 months to improve the process, said Hans Shult, building safety inspections director for New Hanover. 

"The New Hanover County Permitting & Inspections Departments have completed a multitude of improvements that have reduced the time it takes to process building permits by 82%. These process improvements include a mobile-friendly website, simplified residential fee schedule and one of the nation’s first Building Safety Charts showing what type of permits are needed for each type of building need," he said.

Cameron Moore, the Wilmington-Cape Fear Home Builder Association's executive officer, agreed that the new application and process will lead to an enhanced customer-focus interface "in that it streamlines the number of trade permits that are needed for a new single-family home.  In other words, it creates an umbrella permit that the builder and his trades can use to successfully navigate the permitting and inspection processes of the house under construction."

Moore said the county also worked to increase the overall functionality of the software. 

"This should allow for a much smoother process as the builder moves through filling out the application details of a permit," Moore said.  "On the back end there, builders will see a much more enhanced and improved suite of communication tools that they [can use] to help schedule and see their inspections." 

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