Ordinances, Standards & Codes

City of Asheville's Standard Specifications and Details Manual

The purpose of the City of Asheville's Standard Specifications and Details Manual is to provide a resource that establishes development requirements that protects the public health, safety, and welfare through the provision and maintenance of public or private infrastructure improvements related to developing, redeveloping, and subdividing land, as well as providing necessary rights-of-way, transportation, and utility services. The City of Asheville has composed an updated edition of the Standard Specifications and Details Manual that was adopted by City Council on May 13, 2014. The second revision of this edition was approved by City Council on June 14, 2016.

Please click on the following to view, print, or save the revised edition of the Standard Specifications and Details Manual (requires Adobe Reader):

When printing: you may need to print the standard details section separately using landscape mode.

If you are printing this manual to place in a three ring binder, you can print out a cover and spine that can be inserted into binders with clear view exterior sleeves (for best results, use a printer with a minimum of 11” x 17” printing capabilities).

Please note that there is not a Water Distribution section contained within this manual. The City of Asheville's Water Resources Department has developed a design & construction manual of their own. To view this manual, please go to the Water Resources Department main page of this website.

Building Code Clarifications & Changes

The City of Asheville Building Safety Department has identified some areas of the North Carolina Building Codes that may require additional details. The following examples are offered to assist you with compliance:

2012 Code Enforcement Update

Please take note that residential plans submitted after March 1, 2012 shall comply with the 2012 North Carolina Residential Building Code unless specifically identified on the plans.  Commercial plans submitted on or after July 1, 2012 must comply with the North Carolina Building Code.  From January 1 to June 30, 2012 either the 2009 or the 2012 code can be used.

Click here for more information or to view codes online.


Before installing your sign or awning on your business please check the requirements -- it could save you valuable time and money. Not all signs require Plan Review -- if the sign is smaller than those listed on the checklist a Code Enforcement Officer can assist you in the field. Most sign installation requires a permit, please contact the Development Services Center at (828) 259-5846 before installation.


Deck Construction

What you need to know before building an attached or free-standing deck to your home.


Dryer Duct Detail of Fire Resistance Rated Assembly

North Carolina Building Codes and North Carolina Mechanical Codes permit a metal dryer duct to penetrate a rated floor ceiling assembly. In an effort to clarify an often considered "gray area" in the code, a descriptive detail has been prepared. The common confusion comes from the fact that both the Mechanical Code and the Building Code require compliance. The wording, which allows this installation, is not found in any single location of either code.

Along with this detail, additional methods of dryer venting may be used, including providing a soffit below the rated assembly and running the dryer duct within the soffit, or providing a rated shaft within the floor system for the duct to be installed. For more information please contact Development Services at (828) 259-5846.


Residential Handrails

The North Carolina 2006 State Building Code lists particular requirements for handrails, specifically for the graspability. To assist with questions, the City offers a visual interpretation for your convenience.

Unvented Gas Heaters

Housing Code Section 4-210(g)1(a) – Mechanical/Heat – allows the use of unvented natural gas heaters having oxygen depletion sensors listed for residential use by UL, ETL, or other North Carolina recognized testing laboratory and installed in strict accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions as the primary source of heat.

The State Building Code (2006 N.C. Fuel Gas Code, Section 621.2) will no longer allow unvented natural gas heaters to be installed as the primary source of heat in a dwelling unit. New installations of unvented room heaters must comply with current code and all replacement installations must meet code requirements under which they are installed.

The use of unvented fuel-burning heaters is prohibited in any bedroom.

City of Asheville's Unified Development Ordinances

Link to the City Code of Ordinances, including the U.D.O., on the Municode Website

Note about using the Municode Website - When you arrive at the Municode Website, choose Chapter 7 - Development on the left side of the page. This will link you directly to the Unified Development Ordinance of the Asheville Code of Ordinances which will appear in a window on the right side of the page. There will be additional links under Chapter 7 - Development to the subsections of the UDO.

Education & Informational Materials

Steep Slope Information Sheet: The City of Asheville has special requirements for the removal of vegetation within areas designated as Steep Slope Areas. This sheet answers frequently asked questions regarding regulations found in Section 7-12-4 of the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). 

Submittal Requirements for PV Systems: Forms and requirements for submitting solar system plans and work. 

Questions? Email PAC@ashevillenc.gov