Charleston County's Building Service Inspection pages, listed a few frequently asked questions.
Question #1 "Do I need a permit if my project is under $1,000?"
Answer: "The homeowner does not need a permit for doing work under $1,000.00 if the work does not require an inspection and provided that homeowner is doing the actual work. A Specialty contractor working for a homeowner would not need a permit for work under $1,000.00 if the work doesn’t require an inspection and the whole project only involves one trade; otherwise, permits are required for all trades and work no matter the value."
Ord. #1557 adopted 06/17/08
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 4 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES, CHARLESTON COUNTY, ENTITLED
“BUILDINGS AND BUILDING REGULATIONS” AND CHAPTER 8 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES, CHARLESTON COUNTY, ENTITLED “FIRE PREVENTION AND PROTECTION”
105.2 Work exempt from permit. 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. Permits shall not be required for the following:
1. One-story detached accessory structures used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet (11 m2).
2. Fences not over 6 feet (1829 mm) high.
3. 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.
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. 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.
6. Temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery.
7. 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 (19000 L) and are installed entirely above ground.
8. Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes, and not including service systems.
9. Swings and other playground equipment.
10. Nonfixed and movable fixtures, cases, racks, counters and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches (1753 mm) in height.
11. 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.