Tiny Homes (2024)

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How to get a permit to build a tiny home in Raleigh

Updated: May 26, 2023

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Before Submitting an Application Prepare Application Materials Submittal Instructions Project Review and Permitting Paying Fees

Tiny homes are similar to single-family homes but with the following differences:

  • Limited to 800 square feetfootprint and 1,200 square feet in gross floor area
  • Limited to 26 feet/2 stories in height
  • Can contain one or two dwelling units
  • Can be located on a flag lot. This only applies to the R-4, R-6 and R-10 zoning districts.
  • Can be located on an otherwise smaller lot than a typical detached house i.e. smaller lot width, depth and area. This does not apply to the R-1 zoning district.
  • Can be constructed as a Manufactured Home, but if so, limited to 600 sf in size.

All projects are reviewed for compliance with the Raleigh development code and North Carolina state building code.

Before Submitting an Application

Detailed code review will not begin until application submittals have been deemed complete by customer service staff. It is important that all required information is submitted for a project, and it is the applicant’s responsibility to be informed on the prerequisites below: 

  1. You must be registered in the permit portal before you can manage your project, pay fees, or schedule inspections. Learn more about how to register on our portal help page.
  2. All contractor information (General contractor and sub-contractors) must be entered into the portal when submitting the project.
  3. If you are a homeowner acting as the contractor for your project, the Owner Exemption Affidavit is required.
  4. Is your home located in a Historic District or designated as a Raleigh Historic Landmark? If so, you are required to submit a Certificate of Appropriateness to the Raleigh Historic Development Commission (RHDC). Approval from the RHDC may be required prior to submitting your permit application.
  5. If your property contains a private well or septic services, approval from Wake County Environmental Services is required prior to applying with the City of Raleigh.
  6. If you have requested a variance, it needs to be approved by the Board of Adjustment.
  7. The property should have a legally recorded map at the Durham or Wake County Register of Deeds.
  8. Your property may be subject to Residential Infill Compatibility standards. Learn more about residential infill development and verification.

Prepare Application Materials

The below application forms and supporting documents are required for this project type:

  1. Site plan or survey
  2. Residential Permit Data Form
  3. Residential Tier One Site Plan Checklist
  4. Lien Agent
  5. Construction drawings with elevations

Submittal Instructions

To submit a new tiny home project, follow the steps in our helpful online application guide. All application forms and supporting documents must be attached as PDFs. Applicants may add all relevant information and update plans and documents in the portal for the reviews to start quickly.

Project Review and Permitting

Applicants will be notified by email when a project is processed. Standard review times are available to view online. Plan review comments can be viewed any time via a registered account in the Permit and Development Portal.

Plans that are ready for permit issuance but have incomplete contractor information will be kept at the Planning and Development Customer Service Center for up to six months. After six months, the plans will be considered invalid, and the application will be voided. An administrative fee may be incurred when projects are voided.

Inspections can be scheduled via the permit portal.

Paying Fees

A Plan Review Fee is due prior to project review. All other permit fees are due when permits are ready for issuance.

The Development Fee Guide provides a detailed list of specific development fees.

A  fee calculator may be used to obtain an estimate of some building and trade permit fees.

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