Commercial Alteration or Repair

How to get a permit for alterations and repairs for apartment buildings, condos, schools, restaurants, churches, mixed-used buildings, and commercial projects.

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Before You Start Your Project Projects that Do Not Require Plans Projects that Require Plans Prepare Application Materials Submittal Instructions Project Review and Permitting Paying Fees

Expanded Pony Express Pilot Program available for commercial permits

As an alternative to the Express Service Review option, Planning and Development is piloting a temporary expansion of the Pony Express Review Process for smaller commercial projects such as interior alterations and upfits.

Before You Start Your Project

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

  1. Is your project 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. 
  2. 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: 
  3. 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.
  4. Obtain a recorded map of the property, if available, for new buildings, additions, change of use, and site reviews. 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.
  5. Establish an address. Contact the GIS Addressing Team at 919-996-4471 for address assignments.
  6. Obtain approved site permit drawings, administrative site review, or preliminary subdivision, if applicable.
  7. For Food Service, Pool, Institution etc. Please obtain a HSIPOP # from Wake Environmental.
  8. Is your business relocating to a new building or suite and planning to make alterations and repairs to the new space? If yes, schedule a 20-minute virtual meeting with Zoning and Building reviewer. During the meeting staff will determine if there  there is a proposed change of use and/or occupancy; the proposed use is allowed; and if additional building or zoning documents are required with submittal.

Projects that Do Not Require Plans

If your commercial alteration or repair is part of a larger scope of work please scroll to the "Projects that Require Plans" section.

These lists are not inclusive of all project work types.

Work Type Description/Examples
Alterations + Repairs
  • Add a short wall (less than six feet)
  • Siding
  • Windows (add or repair)
  • Doors (move or repair)
  • Roofing

(replacing existing with new) 
  • Electrical
    • switches, receptacles, fixtures, etc.
    • service upgrade
  • Plumbing (interior work and/or 5' from the building)
    • toilets, sinks, etc. 
  • HVAC units
Plumbing Utility (work preformed by a utility contractor)

Installation or replacement of water, irrigation, and/or sewer service.

Please visit the Water + Sewer Service Connection page for more information.

Projects that Require Plans

These lists are not inclusive of all project work types.

Work Type Description Additional Required Documents
Alterations and Repairs Up-fit or remodel to an existing space excluding change of use
Commercial Fences
  • A zoning permit is required when a fence is installed on any property
  • A building permit is required when the fence is over six (6) feet
  • Site plan
  • Detailed drawings are required if the fence is over six (6) feet
  • PDF image of the fence
Generators New or Replacement
Vehicle Charging Station (single unit) Single car charging station
  • Site plan
  • Electrical power riser plan
  • Cut sheets for charging station

Prepare Application Materials

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

  1. Complete the Non-Residential Permit Application.
  2. Complete all supporting documentation as indicated in the table above.

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, and 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. All PDF sheets must be the same size.

Tips for Submitting Commercial Permit PDF Files:

  1. Submit one PDF file containing a commercial permit application.
  2. Submit one PDF file containing commercial drawings.
  3. Submit one PDF file or file folder with all other supporting documents (truss drawings, calculations, etc.).

All application forms and supporting documents listed above must be attached as PDFs. Please send a PDF of the entire application packet (with all documents) to

Project Review and Permitting

View the Standard Alteration or Repair flow chart for information about how the process is handled from submittal to issuance of a permit.

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 pick up.

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

  • It is recommended that fees be paid via the Permit Portal.
  • All major credit cards and eCheck payments are accepted.
  • If you have questions, please contact the Customer Service Center.

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



Planning and Development Customer Service Center:
By phone: 919-996-2495
Via email:


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