Accessory Structures and Additions

Learn more about requirements for one- and-two-family additions and accessory structures.

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Before Getting Started What You'll Need Review Turnaround Time for Development Projects Fees

As a homeowner, you may one day find yourself building an addition or accessory structure to your home.

Accessory structures include but are not limited to:

  • Garages and carports;
  • Storage sheds and gazebos;
  • Greenhouses; or,
  • Pool houses.

Additions include but are not limited to:

  • Adding new space on an existing structure;
  • Adding to the footprint;
  • Adding a second floor;
  • Enclosing a garage;
  • Attached mother-in-law suites;
  • Sunrooms; or,
  • Dormers.

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 Homeowner 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 is required prior to submitting your permit application.
  3. If you have requested a variance, it needs to be approved by Board of Adjustment, if applicable.
  4. If you property contains a private well or septic services, you may need approval from Wake County prior to applying with the City of Raleigh. (Visit the Wake County Private Well and Septic Permit information page).
  5. You 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.

What You'll Need

Applications and additional documentation must be submitted in-person at either Development Services location:

  1. Customer Services Center, One Exchange Plaza, 4th floor, Downtown Raleigh
  2. Litchford Satellite Office, 8320 Litchford Road, Suite 130, North Raleigh


Required for Submittal

Plans must be drawn to architectural scale and submitted with the permit application. The Addition + Accessory Structures Checklist is a helpful guide for this submittal process. 
Minimum allowable scale: 1/4 inch = 1 foot
Minimum allowable sheet size: 8.5 x 11

Required for Some Projects

Note: When the seal of a design professional is required, the seal must include a dated, wet signature of the design professional. 

Review Turnaround Time for Development Projects

Click here for a breakdown of projects and review times.


  • Fees must be paid prior to permit issuance. See Development Fee Schedule for specific fees
  • Payments can be made online via a registered account in the Permit and Development Portal. They can also be paid in-person at either customer service location.



Planning and Development Customer Service Center

Litchford Road Residential Office

Lead Department:
Permits and Inspections
Service Categories:
Planning and Development Customer Service CenterResidential Permits



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