A home with a wooden deck and lush green trees.

Building a Screened-in Porch, Deck, or Balcony

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

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 of the prerequisites below:  

  1. You must be registered in the permit portal before you can manage your project, pay fees, or schedule inspections. Learn more about how to register on our portal help page.
  2. All contractor information (General contractor and sub-contractors) must be entered into the portal when submitting the project.
  3. If you are a homeowner acting as the contractor for your project, the Owner Exemption Affidavit is required.
  4. 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.
  5. If your property contains a private well or septic services, approval from Wake County Environmental Services is required prior to applying with the City of Raleigh. A screened-in porch, deck, or balcony may not be constructed over septic or wastewater systems or their repair area. If a septic tank exists on your lot, contact Wake County Environmental Services at 919-856-7400 to determine the allowed location.  
    • If the property is served by an onsite wastewater system (septic), the location of the new footprint of the deck or porch must be checked to ensure that the location of the structure does not impact and maintains the required setbacks from the current wastewater system, its repair area, and any on-site wells. The site plan must be approved by Wake County.
  6. If you have requested a variance, it needs to be approved by Board of Adjustment.
  7. The property should have a legally recorded map at the Durham or Wake County Register of Deeds.
  8. Your property may be subject to Residential Infill Compatibility standards. To learn more, view the Residential Infill Development webpage.
  9. Residential properties undergoing development or redevelopment may need to meet additional stormwater requirements. 

Prepare Application Materials

The below application forms and supporting documents are required for this project type: 

  • Complete the Residential Site Plan Checklist
  • Provide a survey indicating the proposed work on the property.
    • This can be done in two ways:
      • Please note we require a certified survey done by a land surveyor. We cannot accept a certified survey that has been revised by anyone outside of the surveyor. You may submit an original survey (signed and sealed by a land surveyor) that shows the proposed work, OR; 
      • If the certified survey does not show the proposed work submit it and a supplemental copy of the survey. The supplemental copy is a copy that does not show the surveyor's credentials (seal, signature, name, or any reference to the surveyor). On this copy, you may draw in and label the proposed work. 
      • See an example of a plot plan and survey for a porch and screened-in porch.
  • Complete the Owner Exemption Affidavit if you are the homeowner acting as the builder.
  • Elevations are required for screened porches, or any structure with a roof, including patios or covered decks. 
    • This is a 2-D drawing of the structure showing the wall heights and grade levels (must include average grade levels). Contact zoning staff at 919-996-2492 or currentplanning@raleighnc.gov to discuss the specifics of your screened-in porch, deck, or balcony project and general zoning standards.
    • See an example of an elevation diagram.
  • Complete the Permit Data Form

Submittal Instructions

To submit a deck project via the Permit and Development Portal, follow the steps in our helpful online application guide. All application forms and supporting documents must be attached as PDFs. Applicants may add all relevant information and update plans and documents in the portal for the reviews to start quickly.

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.  

Inspections can be scheduled via the permit portal. 

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.

  • The Customer Service Center processes payments or you may pay via the Permit Portal.
  • Payment types include Cash, MasterCard, Visa, or check made payable to the City of Raleigh. 

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



Planning and Development Customer Service Center


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