Making structural changes to your property, including a deck, requires a building permit.  Work performed without a permit is non-conforming.  That can affect the sale of your home, or even your ability to get insurance coverage.  Many homeowners insurance carriers now do site inspections to confirm various aspects of your property will meet their requirements.

Also, to work as a general contractor on projects costing more than $30,000 in North Carolina, contractors must get a license from the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors, www.nclbgc.org .

To see what other trade and specialty contractors need licenses, visit www.contractors-license.org .  If it is a licensed trade, their work will typically involve getting a permit.