MyRaleigh

When Is A Permit Required

Last updated Jul. 22, 2014 - 3:36 pm

Many home improvement projects require you to get City of Raleigh permits before beginning construction. The permit process allows the City to make sure that buildings are well constructed and safe for occupants. This also helps protect your property values and the value of your neighbors property.

After you start construction, your project must be inspected. A final inspection takes place after the project is completed. Inspections make sure that the project is built according to the permit and all the applicable construction codes.

If you add square footage to your home without a permit and later want to sell your home, the project will have to be permitted and inspected before you can close on the sale. This may require the finished work to be torn out so that the rough-in and framing can be properly inspected. This can be a costly mistake that you are strongly encouraged to avoid.

Here are typical home improvement projects that require City permits and inspections:

  • Construction, additions, remodeling, repairs, replacements, upgrades or any other project over $5,000.
  • Accessory structures such as detached garages, sheds larger than 12 feet and platforms.
  • Any project that involves structural support changes (roof or floor), load-bearing walls, screened porches, decks and balconies.
  • Replacement of a hot water heater, duct running or ventilation.
  • Running of lines or replacement of shower or bath tub enclosures.
  • Projects that require electrical wiring, such as installation of ceiling fans, electrical outlets and overhead lighting.
  • Landscape Irrigation systems.
  • Retaining walls that stand over four feet in height.
  • Interior and exterior fireplaces and fireplace inserts.
  • Skylights.
  • Exterior siding.
  • Fences.

If you have any questions regarding your project, permits or the application process, contact a City of Raleigh residential plans examiner at 919-996-4200.

Video

Watch our video! Please note that, due to the update of the UDO, all Plot Plans must now be signed and sealed by a NC Registered Land Surveyor.

Prerequisites

If your accessory building project, such as a shed, does not need building permits due its size or other minimum requirements, zoning setbacks will still apply. Contact the Zoning Division for information about the setbacks on your property and where to place the structure.

Certificate of Appropriateness if structure is in a historic district or designated as a Raleigh Historic Landmark.

Approvals or Permits Issued

  • Building
  • Electrical
  • Mechanical, if Heating and Air Conditioning; Exhaust Hoods are required
  • Plumbing
  • Zoning

Submittal Requirements

For same day processing, submit the documents listed below by 3:30 p.m. to the Inspections Department’s Litchford Road Satellite Office

Application documents also may be submitted to the Development Services Customer Service Center, One Exchange Plaza, 1 Exchange Plaza, Raleigh, NC 27601. This will result in a one-day delay in processing.

  • City of Raleigh Permit Application (doc) (pdf)
  • Two copies of a plot plan signed and sealed by an NC professional land surveyor,
    if the project is an outside accessory structure
  • Permit fee payment

Required Inspections

Required inspections depend on the type of project. Below are some common inspections and the order in which they should be scheduled. See field inspections for more information. If you have questions, call the Development Services Customer Service Center at 919-996-2500.

Building

  1. A footing inspection takes place after the trenches are excavated, all grade stakes are installed, all reinforcing steel and supports are in place and appropriately tied and all necessary forms are in place and braced, before any concrete is placed
  2. A framing inspection occurs after the roof - excluding permanent roof covering - wall ceiling and floor framing is complete with the appropriate blocking, bracing and fire stopping in place. Framing inspections must be conducted prior to a final inspection. If electrical work is being done, the electrical rough-in inspection (see below) must be approved before scheduling the building framing inspection.
  3. A final inspection must be conducted for each trade after all prerequisite inspections are approved, indicating completion of authorized work as determined by the technical codes.

Electrical

  1. A rough-in inspection must be made before any wall, ceiling finish or building insulation is installed. This gives the inspector an opportunity to view work that will be hidden from view in the finished building, such as building framing, electrical wiring, plumbing, fire protection and heating, ventilation and cooling systems. This inspection must be approved prior to scheduling the building framing inspection.
  2. A final inspection must be conducted for each trade after all prerequisite inspections are approved, indicating completion of authorized work as determined by the technical codes.

Smoke Detectors

  1. If an inspection is required inside your home, you will be required to upgrade the smoke detectors to meet current code standards, regardless of the type of project. See Smoke Alarm Requirements.

How To Schedule An Inspection

  1. Call 919-996-2500 for staff assistance or
  2. Use automated voice response system at 919-857-4412 or
  3. Visit Development Services Customer Service Center, Suite 400, One Exchange Plaza, 1 Exchange Plaza, Raleigh, NC 27601

You will need the permit number and project address, found on the copy of your permit application, when you schedule an inspection.

To keep a permit active, at least one inspection must be scheduled within 12 months of permit issuance.

Inspections scheduled out of sequence may result in an inspection being rejected and a re-inspection fee charged.

When a final inspection is scheduled, any pending inspections for that permit number will automatically be scheduled for the same date.

Re-Inspections

A code violation may result in an inspection status of "rejection." See Top 10 Inspection Rejection reasons listed by trade.

After the code violation is corrected, you may schedule a re-inspection.

A re-inspection fee must be paid before scheduling the re-inspection. You may pay the fee at the Development Services Customer Service Center or the Inspections Department’s Litchford Road Satellite Office or by phone at 919-996-2500 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Please have the permit number, project address and credit card information available when you call.

To schedule a re-inspection, call a customer service representative at 919-996-2500 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. or use the automated voice response system, available 24 hours per day, at 919-857-4412.

Expected Processing Time

  • Approximately 30 minutes for a project that qualifies for Same Day Permitting.
  • Approximately eight business days for a Standard Review.
  • Approximately four to eight business days for a re-review.
  • Inspections are generally conducted the next business day after they are scheduled, unless requested otherwise.
  • Re-inspections will be scheduled for the next business day after payment has been processed, unless requested otherwise.

Fees

Next Steps

None

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