Residential Accessory Structures + Additions

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

Last updated Jul. 01, 2019 - 1:16 pm

As a homeowner, you may one day find yourself building an addition or accessory structure to your home. Accessory structures include but are not limited to:

  • Garages;
  • Carports;
  • Storage sheds;
  • Gazebos;
  • Greenhouses; or,
  • Pool houses.
Additions include but are not limited to:
  • Adding new space on an existing structure;
  • Adding to the footprint;
  • Adding a second floor;
  • Enclosing a garage;
  • Attached mother-in-law suites;
  • Sunrooms; or,
  • Dormers.

Before You Start Your Project

There are a few important things to review prior to submitting your permit application:
  1. If you are a homeowner acting as the contractor for your project, the Homeowner Exemption Affadavit is required.
  2. 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 is required prior to submitting your permit application.
  3. If you have requested a variance, it needs to be approved by Board of Adjustment, if applicable.
  4. If you property contains a private well or septic services, you may need approval from Wake County prior to applying with the City of Raleigh. (Visit the Wake County Private Well and Septic Permit information page).
  5. You should have a legally recorded map at the Durham or Wake County Register of Deeds
  6. Your property may be subject to Residential Infill Compatibility standards. Click here to learn more about residential infill development and verification.

Submittal Requirements

Applications and additional documentation must be submitted in-person at either Development Services location:

  1. Customer Services Center (One Exchange Plaza, 4th floord, Downtown Raleigh)
  2. Litchford Satellite Office (8320 Litchford Road, Suite 130, North Raleigh)

Required for Submittal

Plans must be drawn to architechtural scale and submitted with the permit application. The Addition + Accessory Structures Checklist is a helpful guide for this submittal process.
Minimum allowable scale: 1/4 inch = 1 foot
Minimum allowable sheet size: 8.5 x 11

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


  • Fees must be paid prior to permit issuance. See Development Fee Schedule for specific fees
  • Payment types include cash, MasterCard, Visa or check made payable to the City of Raleigh

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