Online Building Permitting

The City of West Columbia’s Building Department has transitioned to a fully online permitting system. This implementation of a Customer Self-Service (CSS) Portal via EnerGov software allows for an all-encompassing permitting experience from the application, plan submittal, reviews, permit issuance, inspection requests, certificate of occupancy, and payments – all from the convenience of your computer.

Permit Portal

New to the permitting process? Here is an overview of the standard operating procedure (can vary by permit/project):

  1. Submit the appropriate application(s)
  2. Staff from necessary departments will review application(s) information and other required materials (plans, plats, etc.). Reviews can typically take 10-14 business days from the date of submission.
    a. Planning/Zoning
    b. Building
    c. Fire
    d. Engineering (including Water/Sewer)
  3. Upon all approvals, the permit can be issued after all fees are paid.
  4. Construction on your project begins.
    a. Related sub-permits (electrical, plumbing, mechanical, gas) are required/applied for when applicable to the project.
  5. Required inspections are requested, scheduled, and performed.
  6. When all requirements are met, a Certificate of Occupancy is issued and the job is closed.

If it is your first time visiting the site, please register for a new user account. ALL new registrations require staff review and approval prior to any application submittals.

Approved logins are required in order to apply for any application herein.

*Note for developers and contractors:

All developers and sub-contractors (electrical, plumbing, mechanical, gas, etc.) MUST have their own CSS account to represent themselves or the company. Payment arrangements for partnered entities need to identify appropriate billing contacts to be included on permit applications.

Need more help? Links to the User Guides are below to learn how to register, apply for permits, pay fees, and other portal navigations:
Self Service User Guide – Signs
City of West Columbia Self Service User Guide
EnerGov Citizen Self Service User Guide

What permits can be applied for on the Permit Portal (Residential & Commercial)?

  • Building
    • Single-family Home
    • New Construction (i.e., multi-family)
      ***A Notice of Intent is needed for ALL new construction (Residential & Commercial)***
    • Accessory Structure
    • Additions
    • Alterations, remodels, repair, upfits
    • Re-roofs
    • Solar panels
    • Fence/Wall
    • Demolition
    • Commercial Signs
  • Electrical
    • New Construction
    • Alterations, repairs
    • Temporary service
    • Change of service
  • Mechanical (HVAC)
    • New Construction
    • Alterations, repairs
    • Changeouts
  • Plumbing
    • New Construction
    • Alterations, repairs
    • Pools
    • Water Heaters
  • Gas (New installation, repairs)
  • Fire alarms and sprinkler systems
  • Tree Removal

What enhancements will a customer experience?

  • Pay for an invoice (or multiple invoices) with a valid credit card
  • Upload plats, plans, and other digital materials to support an application
  • Request for a scheduled inspection fully online
  • Receive automated e-mail notifications for certain steps during permitting process
  • Track progress of permit applications (Plan reviews, inspections, etc.)
  • See related sub-contractor permits and their status
  • View active and past application submittals
  • Print/share PDF copies of permits

Other items to consider:

Questions or comments?

Feel free to contact us to discuss any questions you may have about the Permit Portal and related topics:

803-605-7610 (Permit Portal Software)
803-936-6286 (Building Department)
803-739-6231 (Planning Department)

7 Steps for Building a Residential and Commercial Structure

There are seven necessary steps to follow if you are planning to build a new home or commercial building. These requirements also pertain to enlarging or renovating an existing home or commercial building.

  1. The project must have zoning approval.
  2. Landscaping plans are required for commercial construction projects.
  3. If the property is subject to flooding then flood elevation certification is needed.
  4. A contractor’s license is required for certain residential or commercial classifications.
    Master electrician for the electricity
    Master plumbing for the plumbing
    Master mechanic for gas and HVAC
  5. Plot plans and building plans must be submitted for review. Two stamped approved copies of each are needed; one to be kept on site and the other to be kept by the Building Official’s office.
  6. All permits must be obtained prior to starting any construction. The City of West Columbia uses the following published codes and inspections are done accordingly:
    • 2018 South Carolina Building Code
    • 2018 South Carolina plumbing Code
    • 2018 South Carolina Mechanical Code
    • 2018 South Carolina Fuel Gas Code
    • 2018 South Carolina Fire Code
    • 2017 National Electrical Code
    • 2009 International Energy Conservation Code
    • 2017 ICC ANSI 117.1
  7. Upon final inspection, a certificate of occupancy must be obtained through the Building Official before occupying the premises.

For questions concerning Building Permits, please contact Eric Williams, Building Official, at 803-936-6286 or by email at