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Accessory Structures

Scheduling Start Date

7/9/2018 8:30 AM

Scheduling End Date





Dennis N. Maidon

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Planning, Development and Inspections

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​Accessory Structures

A Residential Accessory Structure is a detached building, like a shed, that is on the same lot as a single- or two-family home, but is used for a different purpose. Accessory Structures with any dimension greater than 12’ require a building permit and must meet the technical provisions of the current North Carolina Residential Code.

To permit a residential accessory structure you will need to submit:

  • A completed application using the Wake County Permit Portal. You will be required to first set up an account using an email address and password. You will be sent a confirmation email from the Permit Portal with a link to verify your email address. When this step is completed you are now ready to apply for your building permit. 
  • Building plans detailing the work to be performed. The building plans shall detail the construction in accordance with the Residential Plan Submittal Requirements listed below as it applies to the particular project.
  • A certificate of workers' compensation insurance or a completed and notarized affidavit of workers compensation exemption form for licensed general contractors.
  • A completed and notarized affidavit owner contractor form for any project over $30,000 where an owner is listed as the general contractor.


Accessory structures may not impact wastewater systems (septic) of homes and must maintain the required setbacks from the current wastewater system, its repair area and any wells. A site review fee may be required for this service. The process will begin along with the application for the building permit.

The permit will be issued when all outstanding issues are completed and the permit fees shall be paid at that time.

Reminder: A Certificate of Occupancy is required before occupancy of the Residential Accessory Structure is allowed.


Site Plan Requirements:
A preliminary site plan is required before permits are issued. A final (as-built) site plan may be required prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy. A good resource for a site plan is a survey issued for a recent mortgage or refinance closing. See a Site Plan Example.
A site plan includes the entire lot, drawn to scale, with the following:
·        Lot lines with dimensions and road frontage shown.
·        All existing and proposed buildings and structures with overall dimensions and, for proposed buildings and structures, the distance measured from the nearest fixed reference points (such as property lines, lot corners, existing building/structures, etc) that can be used to precisely locate the proposed building/structures should be clearly shown.
·        Existing and proposed driveways, parking spaces, patios, pool decking, and walkways with width and surface material identified.
·        Where known, existing or proposed well, septic tank and drain field location(s) or sewer and water easements and proposed connection location(s).
·        All water features including ditches, easements, buffers, and flood hazard areas (FEMA or Flood prone soils).
·        The location, type and relevant dimensions and capacities of storm water management structures, associated easements and other devices.
·        All existing and proposed impervious surfaces clearly itemized and listed in square feet and as a percentage of the net lot size. This can be shown on the site plan or an attached Impervious Surfaces Calculation Worksheet
·        Parcel identification number (PIN), address of property, north arrow, scale of the site plan, bar scale, and date map prepared (and any revision dates). 
·        If parcel is less than 5 acres, scales of 1" = 20', 30', 40', 50', 60' or 100' are acceptable on paper no larger than 11" x 17".
·        For a parcel of 5 acres or more, scales of 1” = 100’, 200’, 300’, 400’ or 500’ are acceptable in addition to the scales listed above and may be on any size paper.  If the paper is larger than 11” x 17”, or the scale is smaller than 1”=100’, an inset or separate sheet must also be provided showing the proposed construction at a scale of 1” = 20’, 30’, 40’, 50’, 60’ or 100’.
·        As-built surveys must be labeled as such, be completed by a Professional Land Surveyor and include all the above.  The date the as-built is prepared must be on or after the initial building final.
Further information regarding requirements of the Storm water Programs may be obtained from Wake County Environmental Services at 919-856-7400. 
**These are minimum requirements.  Special circumstances or small lots may necessitate further requirements**

Building Plan Requirements:

The following is provided as a guide for obtaining building plan approval for residential  single-family dwellings, modular homes, additions and renovations in the unincorporated areas of Wake County, as well as those municipal areas contracting with Wake County. This applies to all plans submitted under the North Carolina Residential Code, current edition. All plans submitted are required to contain this information.


All plans submitted for permitting are required to match site plan layouts exactly, including I-Joist, floor and roof truss layouts.

Foundation/first floor framing plan with:
A. Specific wall footing width and depth of pour.
B. Detailed foundation wall size and construction type.
C. Wall construction size and type of construction.
D. Floor slab details.
E. Pier and footing sizes, with dimensions for their location and spacing.
F. Girder sizes and locations, floor joist direction, bearing, size, spacing and species.
G. Foundation vent calculations, and foundation access door size and location.
H. Anchor bolts are required at all foundations and must be shown on plan.
Floor plans with:
A. Location and size of walls, windows, doors and stairs.
B. Beams and headers, with supports and attachments.
C. Ceiling plan with ceiling joist directions, bearing, size, spacing and species.
Roof framing showing:
A. Direction, bearing, size, spacing and species of rafters as well as special ridges or support for vaults, cathedral areas and valleys.
B. Roof vent calculations and roof coverings.
C. Truss layouts are required when manufactured roof trusses are to be used, except for the simplest roof designs.
Miscellaneous information:
A. Insulation values for floors, walls and ceilings for conditioned spaces.
B. Attic access, elevations and calculated areas for finished floor spaces and garage.
C. Energy requirements must be per the NC Energy Conservation Code.
D. Mean roof height or assumed mean roof height must be stated. Design values for cladding must be provided, based upon mean roof height.
Note: All structural information must comply with North Carolina Residential Building Code, current edition. Structural elements not found in North Carolina Residential Code must be sealed by a professional engineer or architect registered in the State of North Carolina or comply with other professionally recognized evaluation services, such as NES.

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Dennis N Maidon


Planning, Development and Inspections

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Approval Status Approved
Content Type: Welcome Page
Version: 24.0
Created at 7/3/2012 12:40 PM by Dennis N. Maidon
Last modified at 10/10/2019 4:50 PM by Stephen R. Walston


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