Build a Deck or Porch

To build a new deck or porch you will need to submit:

  1. A completed application using the Wake County Permit Portal.
  2. A site plan meeting all the specifications listed below in Site Plan Requirements.
  3. Building Plans meeting all the specifications listed below in Building Plan Requirements.
  4. A certificate of workers' compensation insurance or a completed affidavit of workers compensation exemption form for contractors.
  5. A notarized affidavit owner contractor form for projects costing $40,000 or more and where an owner is listed as the general contractor.


If the property is served by an onsite wastewater system (septic), the location of the new accessory building must be checked to ensure that it 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 staff may be required for these services.

Further information regarding requirements may be obtained from: 

Health & Human Services-Onsite Water Protection
 919-856-7434  or
Groundwater/Well:    919-856-7400

Building and Site Plan Specifications

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. Watch this video for more information.

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)
  • When utilizing a Professional Option Permit (EOP, AOWE, SL 2022-11/A2) for wastewater (septic) permitting, site plans submitted for building permits must demonstrate the location of all wastewater system components including tanks and treatment systems, distribution devices, supply lines, primary and repair drain lines, etc. The wastewater system information must be provided by the appropriate design professional to be included on the site plan submission.
  • 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 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.

**These are minimum requirements. Special circumstances or small lots may necessitate further requirements.**

Building Plan Requirements

All plans are required to be designed to meet the 2018 North Carolina Residential Code Appendix M, which addresses the requirements for decks, including decks supporting porches.

Please draw deck plans with a top view looking down. Elevation deck plans are optional but encouraged. Deck plans can be hand drawn. Please be neat and legible.

This is a minimum plan review checklist. Additional information may be added by the applicant or requested in the field to determine compliance. Permit holders remain responsible for meeting all code requirements regardless if a review item or not. This minimum review checklist is intended to help prevent any major non-compliance issues from being built in the field, which typically results in significant cost and delays on a project.


  • Dimensions – outside dimensions, spans between supports posts and footings.
  • Tallest height of deck floor from finished grade.
  • Footing sizes – width, depth and locations. Footings are required to be a minimum of 12” into the soil.
  • Posts sizes.
  • Girder sizes, number of members and spans between supports.
  • Floor joist direction, size, on-center spacing and spans.
  • List either 2x2 ledgers or joist hangers for floor joist attachment to girders or bands.
  • Guardrail details, if required. Guardrails (36” tall) are required for deck floors more than 30” above grade.
  • Bracing details for free-standing decks and decks attached to structures with a floor height 4’ or taller.
  • Deck-to-house band attachment details.
  • Show cantilevers with spans from support.
  • Engineer-stamped plans are required for two-story decks and decks supporting hot tubs and spas.


  • Porch plans are required to be drawn with a top view looking down and elevations for clarity.
  • Dimensions – outside dimensions, spans between supports posts and footings.
  • Posts sizes.
  • Header size, number of members and spans between posts.
  • Ceiling joist direction, size, on-center spacing and spans.
  • Roof rafter direction, size, on-center spacing and spans
  • Ridge size.
  • If installing a vaulted ceiling, where ceiling joist or rafter ties are not installed, an engineer letter is required to size the structural ridge and how it will be supported.
  • Band attachment to house for a shed roof.