Additions and Alterations  

Any addition or alteration to existing single- and two-family homes requires permits and inspections. The building plans shall detail the construction in accordance with the Residential Plan Submittal Requirements listed below as it applies to the particular project. Additions or alterations within the existing footprint of the structure require a site plan only if the addition/alteration increases the number of bedrooms in the home, and the home is served by an onsite wastewater system (septic). This site plan provides all of the information listed below under Site Plan Requirements, except impervious surface calculations are not required. Increase in the number of bedrooms for homes served by on-site wastewater systems (septic) requires review to increase or verify the size and the functionality of the existing system. Additions that increase the footprint of the structure require a full site plan, including impervious surface calculations.


The location of the new footprint must be checked to ensure that the location of the structure does not impact and maintains the required setbacks from the current wastewater system, its repair area and any on-site wells.
A field consultation fee and a site visit by Environmental Services staff may be required for these services. The process will begin along with the application for the building permit.


To permit an addition or alteration 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.
Plans will be reviewed in the order they are received by the Plan Review staff. The permit will be issued when all outstanding issues are completed, and the applicable permit fees shall be paid at that time. 


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.
The maximum paper size is legal (11 by 17 inches). The site plan includes the entire lot, drawn to scale, showing:


  • 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 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 drainage way, watershed, riparian, and other buffers and their associated required setbacks; 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" = 20', 30', 40', 50', 60' or 100' are acceptable on paper no larger that 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” 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’.
  • All existing and proposed impervious surfaces shall be clearly delineated and listed in sq. ft. and as a percentage of the total net lot size listed.
  • Location, type and relevant dimensions and capacities of storm water management structures and other devices (if storm water management is required), plus associated easements (show dimensions).

Further information regarding requirements of the Storm Water Programs may be obtained from Wake County Environmental Services at 919-856-7400.


Residential Plan Submittal 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 or the North Carolina specific version of REScheck shall be permitted to demonstrate compliance.
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.



         Wake County Departments & Agencies: