Construction Process Overview

As Wake Forest continues to grow, we understand that residents are often inconvenienced by construction projects that can last several months.

Provided below is an overview of the various construction phases and a few things you can expect during a construction project in your neighborhood, along with information about the Town's Noise Ordinance.

The following process begins only after construction plans are approved and signed by appropriate Town staff.

Please Note: * denotes phases that produce noise

Pre-Construction Meeting

Once construction drawings are approved, a pre-construction meeting is held between Town staff, the developer and site contractor. During this meeting, the Land Disturbance (LD) permit is issued, all applicable conditions of approval are discussed, and processes are noted.

Erosion Control Measures  

Following the issuance of the LD permit, the contractor begins installing erosion control measures. These measures are installed based on the survey data. The survey identifies property boundaries, recorded easements, encroachments, etc. Once the initial erosion control measures are installed, Wake Forest Public Works is contacted to inspect silt fences and tree protection areas.

Site work is then permitted to begin on additional erosion control measures, which include, but are not limited to temporary construction entrances, temporary sediment basins, stockpiles, etc. Public Works staff then completes a final inspection of protection measures and continues to monitor these measures throughout the duration of the project to ensure they remain in effect to prevent off-site sediment run-off.

Earthwork/On-Site Grading*

This is where the ground on which the new development will sit begins to take shape. Large trucks and equipment are involved, so expect noise. This phase may involve:

  • Importing and exporting of soil;

  • Soil stabilization;

  • Construction grading;

  • Compaction and density testing.

During on-site grading, which includes pad preparation, underground utilities will be installed. Depending on the utility, these are usually inspected by either the Town of Wake Forest or City of Raleigh.

Roadway installation typically begins after City of Raleigh utilities and stormwater infrastructure have been installed. Town of Wake Forest staff monitor the roadway installation and require reports to be submitted demonstrating compaction and densities of the roadway meet minimum requirements.

Stormwater Control Measures  

Stormwater Control Measures (SCMs) and the associated stormwater system are installed during on-site grading along with the other utilities.  Temporary measures are put in place while earthwork construction is active due to the high sediment load.  Once the site is stabilized these measures can be converted to permanent SCMs.  Stormwater Control Measures require annual maintenance to ensure full functionality of the system.  Developers can reference the SCM Sequence in the Resources sidebar on this page.  


Once proper earthwork has been completed and the ground is set, the construction process will move into setting the building’s foundation. This stage also involves trucks and equipment, so it too can produce noise. The initial step is to excavate for the building's footings – elements that are put into place to ensure a stable base that will support the future load-bearing foundation walls. Considering the composition of the surrounding soil, a trench must be excavated to set the building's footings. From there, crews will begin laying the forms, setting rebar and pouring the foundation for the building. The foundation is designed to provide support for the entire structure.

Building Construction*

During the state of construction, the actual structure is added, including frames, walls, roofs, etc. Site utility work includes preparing the property to connect to public utilities, such as water, sewer, electric and gas. The installation of these items can produce loud sounds from the equipment used.


Framing consists of creating broad pieces of the structure that will give support and shape to the building. This may involve either a wood frame, structural steel or concrete. During this stage, expect noise from hammering, drills, nail guns and other power tools.


Depending on the type of roof, this may involve elements such as building out the rafters, ceiling joists, trusses, insulation, structural deck, and the appropriate roof covering. Expect noise.


Involves preparing the installation site by either setting a pad or installing a rooftop support structure. During this stage, the ductwork and electrical conduit are also prepared for interior connection.

On-Site Work*

Besides the construction of the building itself, on-site work may include site grading which is the process of distributing dirt strategically to ensure the proper water runoff. During this phase, the site will also be prepped for additional work, such as paving and landscaping. Expect noise due to the use of trucks and heavy equipment. Town construction inspectors will inspect this area for proof rolls.

Paving & Striping*

Once the site is properly graded, the paving of the parking area and/or street follows. The parking area should be smooth, contain a level, compacted base, and have proper drainage. Then, upon proper paving, the lot can be striped.


This stage involves installing elements that contribue to the visual appeal of the property, including, installation of canopy and understory trees and shrubs. The appropriate planting season is October-March. Town staff will inspect the area to ensure proper installation and species.

Off-Site Work*

Refers to work outside of the property site that is meant to support the new development. This may include adding infrastructure, such as access roads, sidewalks and curbs, and other supplemental utility work. These may only begin after they have received all encroachments and approvals from the appropriate agency, such as the North Carolina Department of Transportation or City of Raleigh.

Project Closeout

Town staff will inspect all project sites prior to ensure compliance with approved construction drawings.

Noise Ordinance

All work is subject to the noise ordinance outlined in the Town of Wake Forest Code of Ordinances (Chapter 14, Article III. – Noise).

Equipment being used for construction, provided that all equipment is operated with all standard equipment manufacturer’s mufflers and noise-reducing equipment in use and in proper operating condition, is exempt from the Noise Ordinance provisions per Sec. 14-72(1).

Throughout the construction, the Town’s Construction Inspector frequently visits the work site to ensure erosion control measures are functioning, stormwater protections are in place, roadways remain clear, and the site is being constructed per the approved plans. However, it is important to note that plans can be amended during the process due to items that may arise in the field, but all ordinance requirements must be met.

When the site is nearing completion, City of Raleigh inspects the water and sewer infrastructure for acceptance and Town staff performs walk-throughs and develops punchlists for the developer to address identifying areas where plants may be missing, curb is cracked, etc. The developer is then required to address these items before the project is closed out with Town staff.

Additional Information/Questions

The Active Development Map on the Town’s website is a helpful resource for projects in-review, approved and under construction. For questions related to stormwater, construction activities or roadways, please contact 919-435-9570. For questions related to zoning, setbacks, or the development process, please contact 919-435-9510.