Building Code Administration

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Theodore Reed, CBO, CFM
Chief Building Official
31 Klein Street, 3rd Floor Harrelson Building
P.O. Box 98
Walterboro, SC  29488
Phone: 843-549-1709
Fax: 843-549-9014
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8AM-5PM

About Us

The Chief Building Official is responsible for the administration and interpretation of all building and construction codes.  In general, these codes apply to the construction, alteration, movement, enlargement, replacement, repair, equipment, use and occupancy, location, maintenance, removal and demolition of every building or structure.  Construction plans and a building permit are typically required.  The County administers numerous construction codes including:

2018 International Building Code
2018 International Residential Code
2018 International Mechanical Code
2018 International Plumbing Code  
2009 International Energy Conservation Code
2018 International Fuel Gas Code
2014 National Electrical Code
2009 NFPA 101 Life Safety Code
SSTD 10-99 Hurricane Resistance
Standard Amusement Device Code


Note: The County Fire Marshal, Michael Banks, is responsible for administering the 2015 International Fire Code.

Contact Information:
Colleton County Fire - Rescue
113 Mable T. Willis Blvd
Walterboro, SC 29488
843-539-1960 ext 240
843-539-1963 (fax)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What requires a building permit? (Note: You may still need a zoning permit.  See the Zoning Administration Page)
A. Building permits are required for ALL CONSTRUCTION with the following exceptions:
1. Detached Accessory Structures (storage buildings, etc.) that are LESS than 225 sq. ft. or $1500 in cost. 
2. Fences not over 6 feet high, UNLESS the construction cost is greater than $2,000.00.
3. Retaining walls not over 4 feet high.
4. Sidewalks/driveways (as long as they are not over 30” above the surrounding grade).
5. Painting, Wallpapering, Flooring, Cabinets.
6. Above-Ground Swimming pools (less than 24” deep)
7. Window Awnings (supported by exterior walls)
8. IRC Swing Sets
9. IBC Movable shelves or equipment
10. Public Service Agencies - line or field work

Q.What Licenses are required for those who apply for a permit in Colleton County?
A. Residential permits can be issued to homeowners, provided all subcontractors are licensed with the State and County.  Otherwise, a residential contractor can be issued the permit.  Any commercial construction valued over $5000 requires a licensed SC general contractor to be issued the permit.

STATE CERTIFIED CONTRACTORS: Copy of State Certification
SUBCONTRACTORS:   Copy of State License

The County also requires that a contractor performing work in the County have a County license.

Q. How long does it take for plans to be reviewed and a permit to be approved?
A. Residential Permits average between a 4 to 7 working days. Commercial Permits average between 5 to 8 working days. Roofing, Electrical, HVAC, Plumbing and Gas are generally approved while you wait.

Q.How do I apply for a building permit?
A building permit application must be submitted, along with two (2) sets of construction drawings when applicable, a survey or acceptable site plan of the property with the building footprint, proof of property ownership, a valid 911 address, description of work being performed and the estimated value of construction.

Q.Why do I need to submit a site plan of my property?
A. Site plans or surveys are needed to determine if the structure can meet the requirements of the zoning and the floodplain ordinances. If not, permits may not be issued unless approval of eligible variances are granted.

Q.What is needed for a mobile home permit?
A. A mobile home permit application must be submitted, along with a survey or acceptable site plan of the property with the location of the mobile home shown, a valid 911 address, a septic tank permit, Bill of Sale if purchased from a Dealer and Mobile Home Decal from the County Delinquent Tax Office.  All mobile homes coming into the County MUST be Wind Zone II certified.  This information is located on the Data Plate inside the mobile home.

Q. What types of work are exempt from having a signed and sealed architectural plans?
A. A South Carolina Architectural Seal (SC Code of Laws 40-3-290) is required on the following:
a) All Assembly, Educational and Institutional occupancies
b) Buildings and structures three (3) or more stories high (except one and two family dwellings)
c) Buildings and structures five thousand (5,000) square feet or more in area.