How to Get a Residential Permit

How to get a permit for construction on single-family homes, one- and-two-family dwellings, and townhomes. Apartment construction must follow the Non-Residential Permit Process.

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Before You Start Projects that Do Not Require Plans Projects that Require Plans Where + When to Submit Your Paperwork Working without a permit Monitoring Your Project Fee Information How Long Does it Take to Get a Permit?

Before You Start

Projects that Do Not Require Plans

Projects that fall under this category MUST submit a residential permit application.  
This list is not inclusive of all project work types.

Work Type Description/Examples
Alterations + Repairs
  • moving walls
  • renovations to rooms inside the home: kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living room, etc. 
  • existing water and sewer line replacement
    • city-installed irrigation meters
  • mobile home repair
  • siding, windows, doors
  • roofing
  • electrical service upgrade
  • adding circuits or outlets
  • interior vehicle charging stations
  • switches
  • lights
Fuel Piping
  • changing electric to gas
  • changing gas to electric
  • running gas lines to gas equipment
(replacing existing with new)
  • water heater replacement
  • HVAC replacement
  • generators
  • driveways

      NOTE: Installation of new equipment requires a plot plan.

Residential Power Turn On For any single-family dwelling, duplex, or townhome that has been vacant for six months or longer


Projects that Require Plans

Projects that fall under this category MUST submit a residential permit application along with supporting plans and documentation. All of this information will be reviewed by city staff prior to issuing your permit. 
This list is not inclusive of all project work types.

Work Type Description/Examples Additional Required Documents
Accessory Structures
  • Detached garages
  • Sheds
  • Greenhouses
  • Detached carports
  • Pool houses
  • Workshops
  • Adding new space to an existing structure
  • Adding to the footprint
  • Adding a second floor
  • Adding or enclosing a garage
  • Attached mother-in-law suites
  • Sunrooms
  • Dormers
Changing Space Inside an Existing Structure
  • Non-conditioned space to air-conditioned/heated space
  • Uninhabitable to habitable space
  • Floor plan of an entire floor with changes shown
  • If a new HVAC unit is installed for this purpose, a signed and sealed survey showing existing conditions, and a supplemental drawing showing the purpose of the unit, is required.
Decks + Porches
  • Covered or screened porches
  • Decks
  • Patios
  • Porticos
  • Gazebo
  • Three-season room
Demolition Removal of an existing structure(s).
NOTE: Stormwater buffers or tree protection may be required. 
Fences A zoning permit is required when installing a fence 
  • View the Fences webpage for more info.
Front Yard Parking Pad Any parking expansion in the front yard
Home Business A zoning permit is required to operate a business in your home.
  • Visit the Zoning Permits page for more information on zoning permit requirements
HVAC + Generators Installation of NEW HVAC units or generator
Mobile Homes Replacing a mobile home 
  • Site plan of mobile home park 
Moving a House Moving a home within Raleigh city limits or the Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) 
New Single-Family Home  
Pools + Hot Tubs
  • Above ground pool
  • Pool
  • Spa or hot tub 
  • Residential Site Plan Checklist
  • Elevations (for the fence)
  • Survey showing existing conditions of the property and proposed work (a supplemental survey may also be submitted to show proposed work) 
Right-of-Way Work
  • installing a new driveway or sidewalk
  • modifying an existing driveway or sidewalk 
Solar Equipment
Geothermal Systems Alternate Energy Sources
  • installing photovoltaics
  • new solar equipment on the property 
Vehicle Charging Station exterior vehicle charging station
Water, Sewer, and Irrigation Services (stubs and meter connections)
  • new water, sewer, or irrigation services
  • removal of water and sewer services

Where + When to Submit Your Paperwork

All projects are currently accepted via email only. Please submit your completed application and supporting documentation to

Working without a permit

There are a range of things that can happen if you choose to work without a permit:

  • Citation from the City of Raleigh
  • Increased permit costs, including fines, increased fees, and possible court costs
  • Potential home hazards
  • Removal of work may be required at the cost of the homeowner
  • Issues when selling your home in the future
  • Homeowner's insurance may not cover issues that occur as a result of the non-permitted construction

Monitoring Your Project

The Permit and Development Portal is a great way to manage your project activity online. Once you have registered an account, you are able to view your project work flow, pay fees, or schedule inspections.

Visit our permit portal help center for a list of frequently asked questions and a direct link to the portal.

Fee Information

The Development Fee Guide can help you estimate the cost of your project. Fees can be paid online via a registered account in the Permit and Development Portal, or in-person via our cashier in the customer service center. 

How Long Does it Take to Get a Permit?

Click here for a breakdown of projects and review times.



Planning and Development
Customer Service Center

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