How to Get a Residential Permit

How to get a permit for construction on single-family homes, one- and-two-family dwellings, and townhomes. Apartment construction must follow the Non-Residential Permit Process.


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Before getting started Projects that Do Not Require Plans Projects that Require Plans Where + When to Submit Your Paperwork Working without a permit Monitoring Your Project Fee Information How Long Does it Take to Get a Permit?


Important Notice:

The processes below may have changed due to COVID-19. Please visit our Planning and Development information page for the most up to date processes and procedures.


Permits are required when you are building a new single-family home or if you need to make an alteration or repair to an existing structure. Permits are also required for accessory structures. The permit and inspection process ensures that projects are well constructed, safe for occupants, and meet all current code requirements. This also helps protect property values for you and your neighbors

Before getting started

There are a few important things to review prior to submitting your permit application:

  1. If you are a homeowner acting as the contractor for your project, the Homeowners Exemption Affidavit is required.
  2. Is your home located in a Historic District or designated as a Raleigh Historic Landmark? If so, you are required to submit a Certificate of Appropriateness to the Raleigh Historic Development Commission (RHDC). Approval from the RHDC may be required prior to submitting your permit application. 
  3. If your property contains a private well or septic services, you may need approval from Wake County prior to applying with the City of Raleigh.
  4. If you have requested a variance, it needs to be approved by Board of Adjustment.
  5. The property should have a legally recorded map at the Durham or Wake County Register of Deeds.
  6. Your property may be subject to Residential Infill Compatibility standards. Click here to learn more about residential infill development and verification.

Projects that Do Not Require Plans

Projects that fall under this category MUST submit a residential permit application.  
This list is not inclusive of all project work types.

Work Type Description/Examples
Alterations + Repairs
  • moving walls
  • renovations to rooms inside the home: kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living room, etc. 
  • existing water and sewer line replacement
    • city-installed irrigation meters
  • mobile home repair
  • siding, windows, doors
  • roofing
Circuits
  • electrical service upgrade
  • adding circuits or outlets
  • interior vehicle charging stations
  • switches
  • lights
Fuel Piping
  • changing electric to gas
  • changing gas to electric
  • running gas lines to gas equipment
Replacements
(replacing existing with new)
  • water heater replacement
  • HVAC replacement
  • generators
  • driveways

      NOTE: Installation of new equipment requires a plot plan.

Residential Power Turn On For any single-family dwelling, duplex, or townhome that has been vacant for six months or longer

 

Projects that Require Plans

Projects that fall under this category MUST submit a residential permit application along with supporting plans and documentation. All of this information will be reviewed by development services staff prior to issuing your permit. 
This list is not inclusive of all project work types.

Work Type Description/Examples Additional Required Documents
Accessory Structures
  • garages
  • sheds
  • greenhouses
  • carports
  • pool houses
  • workshops
Additions
  • adding new space on an existing structure
  • adding to the footprint
  • adding a second floor
  • enclosing a garage
  • attached mother-in-law suites
  • sunrooms
  • dormers
Changing Space Inside an Existing Structure
  • Non-air conditioned space to air conditioned/heated space
  • Uninhabitable to habitable space
  • Floor plan of entire floor with changes shown
  • If a new HVAC unit is installed for this purpose, a signed and sealed survey showing existing conditions, and a supplemental drawing showing purpose of the unit, is required.
Decks + Porches
  • Covered or screened porches
  • Decks
  • Patios
  • Porticos
  • Gazebo
  • Three-season room
Demolition Removal of existing structure(s).
NOTE: Stormwater buffers or tree protection may be required. 
Fences A zoning permit is required when installing a fence 
  • View the Fences webpage for more info.
Front Yard Parking Pad Any parking expansion in the front yard
Home Business A zoning permit is required to operate a business in your home.
  • Visit the Zoning Permits page for more information on zoning permit requirements
HVAC + Generators Installation of NEW HVAC units or generator
Mobile Homes Replacing a mobile home 
  • Site plan of mobile home park 
Moving a House Moving a home into Raleigh city limits or the Extra Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) 
New Single Family Home  
Pools + Hot Tubs
  • Above ground pool
  • Pool
  • New area for hot tub 
  • Residential Site Plan Checklist
  • Elevations (for the fence)
  • Survey showing existing conditions of property and proposed work (a supplemental survey may also be submitted to show proposed work) 
Right-of-Way Work
  • installing a new driveway or sidewalk
  • modifying an existing driveway or sidewalk 
Solar Equipment
Geothermal Systems Alternate Energy Sources
  • installing photovoltaics
  • new solar equipment on the property 
Vehicle Charging Station exterior vehicle charging station
Water, Sewer, and Irrigation Services (stubs and meter connections)
  • new water, sewer, or irrigation services
  • removal of water and sewer services

Where + When to Submit Your Paperwork

All projects are currently accepted via email only. Please submit your completed application and supporting documentation to downtownDS@raleighnc.gov.

Working without a permit

There are a range of things that can happen if you choose to work without a permit:

  • Citation from the City of Raleigh;
  • Increased permit costs, including fines, increased fees, and possible court costs;
  • Potential home hazards;
  • Removal of work may be required at the cost of the homeowner;
  • Issues when selling your home in the future; or
  • Homeowners insurance may not cover issues that occur as a result of the non-permitted construction.

Monitoring Your Project

The Permit and Development Portal is a great way to manage your project activity online. Once you have registered an account, you are able to view your project work flow, pay fees, or schedule inspections.

Visit our permit portal help center for a list of frequently asked questions and a direct link to the portal.

Fee Information

The Development Fee Schedule can help you estimate the cost of your project. Fees can be paid online via a registered account in the Permit and Development Portal, or in-person via our cashier in the customer service center. 

How Long Does it Take to Get a Permit?

Click here for a breakdown of projects and review times.

Contact

 

Planning and Development Customer Service Center
919-996-2500

Lead Department:
Permits and Inspections
Service Categories:
Residential PermitsPlanning and Development Customer Service CenterNon-Residential Permits