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Building a New Townhouse

How to get a permit to build a townhouse in Raleigh

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Before Submitting an Application Prepare Application Materials Submittal Instructions Project Review and Permitting Paying Fees

A townhouse is a single-family dwelling unit constructed in a group of three or more attached units. Each unit extends from the foundation to roof and with open space on at least two sides. 

If you are preparing to build a new townhouse, you must apply for a residential building permit and complete a site plan review (UDO 10.2.8). This ensures that all townhouse construction complies with Raleigh development code and N.C. State Residential Code as applicable. 

Before Submitting an Application

Detailed code review will not begin until application submittals have been deemed complete by customer service staff. It is important that all required information is submitted for a project and it is the applicant’s responsibility to be informed on the prerequisites below: 

  1. Obtain a recorded map of the property. If there is no recorded map, a copy of a current signed and sealed survey, in addition to the property description on file with the Wake County Register of Deeds, will be accepted. 
  2. Establish an address. Contact the GIS Addressing Team at 919-996-4471 for address assignments. 
  3. Include approved site permit drawings with your application materials.  
  4. If applicable, include approved administrative site review or preliminary subdivision. 

You may contact a customer service agent at 919-996-2500 with any questions regarding this process. 

Prepare Application Materials

The below application forms and supporting documents are required for new townhouses: 

  1. Residential permit application (per lot). Include all contractor information. 
  2. Residential permit data form 
  3. Plot plan per each lot
  4. Townhouse construction drawings
  5. Hydrant flow test and fire flow analysis dated within one year 

Submittal Instructions

At this step your application materials should be ready to assemble. Please take note of the instructions below, applications that do not meet these criteria will not be accepted:

  1. Only PDF file types will be accepted unless other file types (such as image, Excel, or CAD) are specifically called for as part of the application submittal process.
  2. .ZIP files are not allowed.
  3. Only one file should be associated with each discrete document included with the application package. For example, if an application requires 1) an application form, 2) a set of plans, 3) a calculation report, the applicant should transmit these as three separate files.
  4. City of Raleigh limits email attachments to 30 MB. To send larger files, you may send a file-sharing link (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.) to a folder with all required documents. Staff must be given direct access to your files and cannot accept links that require access codes, passwords, or logins.
  5. Submit all files (or file-sharing link) via email to

Tips for Submitting Townhouse PDF Files:

  1. Submit one PDF file containing: residential permit application (per lot), lien agents (per lot), and the Residential Permit Data Form.
  2. Submit one PDF file for the complete plan set with documents in the following order: plot plans, townhouse construction drawings, approved site permit review, and recorded plat. 
  3. You may submit a separate pdf of the approved construction drawings if needed.
  4. Submit one PDF file for all other supporting documents.

Project Review and Permitting

Applicants will be notified by email when a project is processed. Standard review times are available to view online. Plan review comments can be viewed any time via a registered account in the Permit and Development Portal.  

Plans that are ready for permit issuance but have incomplete contractor information will be kept at the Planning and Development Customer Service Center for up to six months. After six months, the plans will be considered invalid, and the application will be voided. An administrative fee may be incurred when projects are voided.

Paying Fees

A Plan Review Fee is due prior to project review. All other permit fees are due when permits are ready for issuance.

The Development Fee Guide provides a detailed list of specific development fees.  

A  fee calculator may be used to obtain an estimate of some building and trade permit fees.