Building Inspections

The Building Inspections Department’s mission is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people in Stephens County by ensuring a safe building environment and to promote responsible growth by assisting residents, builders, contractors and developers throughout the county with compliance to the current codes adopted by the Stephens County Commissioners. Although risk to residents can never be eliminated completely, it is this department's desire to have that risk reduced as much as possible.

Building code enforcement is an asset to the County for many reasons. Through code compliance and the issuance of Certificates of Occupancy for Residential and Commercial construction, consistent construction practices are ensured, property values are fairly assessed, instant slums are avoided, and insurance rates may be lowered by obtaining a better ISO rating. Also, it may qualify Stephens County for State and Federal Grants.

Any construction requiring a building permit is subject to adherence of the Georgia Minimum Standards for Building and Construction as mandated by the State of Georgia and will be appropriately inspected throughout all phases of construction. (Downloadable information and forms are available on the links below).

Those standards currently include The International Building Code, International Residential Code for One and Two Family Dwellings, The International Plumbing Code, The International Mechanical Code, The International Fuel Gas Code, The International Fire Code, Georgia State Energy Code, (all currently 2006 editions), and The National Electric Code (2008 edition), as amended by the State of Georgia. These standards will be updated as the State mandates.

Stephens County operates under and enforces International Building Codes as prescribed by the International Code Council, mandated and amended by the State of Georgia.  To access International Building Codes visit https//:codes.iccsafe.org/content.

The Building Department is providing health, safety and welfare of the people by ensuring a safe building environment.

Stephens County requires that all construction work, such as building, remodeling and additions, conform to state codes. Permits are required; and to make sure that the codes are followed, building inspections are performed at different stages of the job.

 INSPECTIONS ARE REQUIRED AT THE FOLLOWING TIMES: Temp pole; footings; foundation wall; slab plumbing; slab; rough-in; energy; permanent power; final inspection for CO

At times, therefore, work may be temporarily halted until an inspection has been done and approval granted. All work to any structure, be it new construction, addition, or alteration to an existing structure, must be approved and permitted before construction begins.

Building permits may be requested in person or by contacting Beth Rider at 706-898-5750 or by email at brider@stephenscountyga.com

All residential and commercial building permit applicants are required to have the following before being turned in for review:

  1. Recorded plat of property with structure drawn on plat
  2. Complete set of drawings/plans with doors and windows listed
  3. Preliminary septic tank permit

The Building Department also enforces erosion and sediment controls in the County. Any grading, clearing, grubbing, or installation of driveways on any property shall be required to obtain a Land Disturbance Permit.

  • Codes protect the life, health, and property of residents and thus help provide a better living environment.  Without code enforcement, a builder can come into a community and build a sub-standard home that he will sell below the market value, thus affecting the value of the home constructed by a builder who builds at or above the standard. Even though there is a need for lower-cost housing, all homes need to be constructed to the same standards in order to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of those purchasing the home and to protect their investment. With everyone building on the same level of guidelines, it causes the building market to be strong and fair. It helps to protect the property values of every person in the community by requiring everyone to live up to the same standard as far as construction is concerned.
  • The permitting/inspections system provides a means of systematically updating property assessments. This is important so that each person within the county community is contributing fairly to the tax base when they build on their property.
  • Building inspections oftentimes result in lower insurance rates. It is getting more difficult to purchase homeowner's insurance on a home that has not been inspected. Rates on homeowner's insurance are based on what is known as an ISO rating. Each locality is graded on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst rating, causing insurance premiums to be higher. Much of what the locality is graded on involves permitting, plan review, and a code inspection program. Without these, a higher rating (which is bad) can be expected. The lower the rating is, the better it is.
  • Building codes and inspections assist in keeping growth at a moderate level. We all know growth is going to happen, whether we like it or not. Building inspections provide a moderate way to keep that growth under control and consistent. Without building codes and inspections, everyone doing things "their own way" only leads to fast, uncontrolled growth for which a local entity is not prepared and results in unsafe building practices.

Contractor Licensing

To ensure fair and consistent building practices, Stephens County enforces Contractor Licensing as issued by the Georgia Secretary of State. A copy of a current license issued by the Secretary of State and a current certificate of insurance is required for contractors performing any work requiring a building permit in Stephens County.

Please feel free to contact the Building Department with any questions you may have as it is the privilege of this department to be of service in any and all ways possible.

CONTACT INFORMATION
Beth Rider
37 West Tugalo St., Toccoa GA 30577
Phone 706-886-9491 Ext. 302 Fax 706-886-2185

Hours: Monday-Friday: 8 a. m – 5 pm (for in-person visits, please call in advance to ensure proper service).

MunicodeWebsite for Building Regulations: Click here to Download

Downloadable Forms and Information:

Sign Fees

Sign Fee - $50.00 plus $1.50 square foot for face of sign
Billboard Fee - $1.50 square foot. for face of billboard, for 200 square foot billboard would be $350.00

Click here for Buildings and Building Regulations