COVID-19 Protocols

New Hanover County’s Building Safety Department is committed to serve our community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, so we are taking additional precautions to help keep our staff and customers safe.

To ensure continued and timely inspections, we are using Live-Remote-Inspections (LRI) for inspections on work that is taking place in occupied residences and business locations. As activities increase county-wide, with the virus still present, utilizing these additional options can help minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Building Safety can use LRIs as an option for some inspection types under the permits issued by the department. There are two types of LRIs that an inspector may approve. On-site LRI, with an inspector present at the job site, or off-site LRI, with an inspector viewing from a remote location. The inspector will determine the use of an on-site LRI or off-Site LRI, and there is no additional fee for scheduling an LRI.

To schedule a LRI, the person requesting the inspection should follow the current rules for permitting and making inspection requests. After the person makes the inspection request, and after the inspector has researched details, the inspector will initiate phone contact with the person responsible for the work, to determine if the request qualifies for a LRI. If it does, the inspector will schedule the LRI and inform the responsible party of the appointed time for the LRI. You can find a comprehensive overview with additional information on LRIs at under “Forms” and then “NHC Building Safety.”

In general, the inspection types that qualify for LRI include the following:

  • Interior trade rough-ins, framing, insulation, final trade, and final building
  • Inspections for sunrooms or similar uses/additions: trade rough-ins and finals, track, and building finals
  • HVAC change-outs
  • Swimming pools (residential only)

However, the above list is not all-inclusive. Per the North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCDOI), the Building Safety Department reserves the right to add, delete, or modify the inspections for LRI as conditions may warrant.

LRI Process

The Inspector will verify and document the work preformed for the on-site or off-site LRI. For on-site LRI, the inspector will physically inspect and document any exterior work or installation. For off-site LRI, the inspector will remotely inspect and document any exterior work or installation. Then the inspector will use live-remote technology (via Microsoft TEAMS, as the preferred app) that provides visual and audio communication with the person who performed the work. The method is to achieve, as required by code, the “access to and means for inspection of the interior work.”

The person who performed the work will be responsible for entering the building and using the live-video/audio device (such as a capable cell phone). The use of such a device is to show the Inspector the work requiring inspection. If the work can be verified and approved by LRI, the person responsible for the work submits a signed Form/Letter containing the “Statement of Compliance with all Applicable Codes.” Then the inspector will approve of the inspection.

Depending on who bears responsibility for the work done, there is a different form/letter for a General Contractor, Trades Contractor, an equipment or product Installer. Separate forms/letters also exist for a Homeowner acting as his/her (own) Contractor, and a Business Owner acting as his/her (own) Contractor. All of these forms are available at under “Forms” and then “NHC Building Safety.”

Thank you for your continued flexibility as we implement enhanced protocols to serve you. If you need help at any time, please call (910) 798-7308 or email us at

The forms may be filled out and signed electronically or you can print it out and sign by hand, then scan it and submit it with your permits.

These documents are also found on the COAST portal in the Forms section.

Building Safety: 230 Government Center Dr, Suite 170 • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone 910-798-7308 • Fax 910-798-7811
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