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 permit and must meet the technical provisions of the current North Carolina Residential Code.
A completed application for Residential Permit
A site plan meeting all of the specifications listed in the Site Plan Requirements
Two sets of plans detailing the work to be performed. The building plans shall detail the construction in accordance with the Residential Plan Submittal Requirements
as it applies to the particular project.
In most cases, permits are started and plans reviewed while you wait. If a site visit for wastewater verification is not required, a permit may be issued while you wait.
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.
Plans will be reviewed for most Accessory Structures at the time of application. 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.
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. A site plan includes the entire lot, drawn to scale, showing the following:
- Lot lines with dimensions and road frontage delineated; existing or proposed driveways, parking spaces and walkways, with width and surface material described.
- All existing and proposed buildings or other structures, with overall dimensions given and their setback(s) from nearest the property lines clearly delineated.
- All surface waters; FEMA 100-year flood fringe and floodway lines (or approximate 100-year flood line in unnumbered A Zones); flood hazard soils areas (adjust flood hazard soils to Wake County topography or field-surveyed low points, as appropriate); wetlands; reserved open spaces; the location, dimensions and arrangements of all drainageway, watershed, riparian, and other buffers and their associated required setbacks; and the location of any existing or proposed easements (widths listed).
- Existing or proposed well, septic tank and drain field location(s) or sewer and water easements and proposed connection location(s).
- A title block indicating parcel identification number (PIN), north arrow and scale of the site plan, bar scale (for preliminary plans, indicate that it is a preliminary plan), name of Professional Land Surveyor, Landscape Architect, Professional Engineer, the landowner or his authorized agent’s signature, and for licensed professionals, seal of the person who prepared the plan, date map prepared (and any revision dates).
- For as-built final plans, indicate that it is an as-built plan and provide name of the Professional Land Surveyor who prepared the plan, his signature and seal and date map prepared (and any revision dates).
- If parcel is less than 5 acres, scales of 1" = 30', 40', 50', 60' or 100' are acceptable.
- All existing and proposed impervious surfaces shall be clearly delineated and listed in square feet and as a percentage of the total net lot size listed.
- Location, type and relevant dimensions and capacities of stormwater management structures and other devices (if stormwater management is required), plus associated easements (show dimensions).
Further information regarding requirements of the Stormwater Programs may be obtained from Wake County Environmental Services at 919-856-7400.
The following is 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.
Submit two complete sets of building plans for residential review with the following information:
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.
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. Fenestration calculations are required and must be provided on all plans with conditioned spaces. Structures with more than 15% fenestration must show method of energy compliance per North Carolina Energy Conservation Code Chapter 4.
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.