Accessory Structures and Additions

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

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Before You Start 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.

A Residential Permit Application is required regardless of the size of an accessory structure. You will receive either a zoning permit if under 12 feet in any direction (length, width, or height) or a building permit if an accessory structure exceeds 12 feet in any direction (length, width, or height).

Accessory structures include but are not limited to:

  • Detached garages and carports
  • Storage sheds and gazebos
  • Greenhouses
  • Pool houses

Additions include but are not limited to:

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

Before You Start

What You'll Need


Required for Submittal
Required for Some Projects
  • Wake County Well and Septic permits, if applicable

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

Please see our development review turnaround times.


  • Fees must be paid prior to permit issuance. See Development Fee Guide 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


Lead Department:
Planning and Development
Service Categories:
Permits - Residential