As a licensed general contractor many times one of the questions we get is regarding permits on a deck. does a deck construction or deck repair need a building permit? Well, the codes obviously are different from state to state but here’s a general explanation of deck permitting and deck requirements.
What requires a building permit?
Keeping in mind that all states are different, most of the time if the deck is a new structure, it will require a building permit. If you’re repairing an existing deck, without adding or taking away major structural pieces, this typically doesn’t require a building permit. Decks that have stairs will not only usually require a building permit, but they also require handrails or guardrails for safety. Additionally, typically anything 30 inches or more above ground will likely require a building permit. Before beginning your deck project, always check your state and county’s permit guidelines.
Other than the deck itself, what else may trigger a building permit?
Depending on your geographic region, if your deck lies near a flood zone, erosion protection zone, swamp, or another specified area, you may need to obtain a special type of building permit or not be able to build on the land at all. Additionally, a deck with a roof that will bear heavy snow will always require a building permit.
Whether you’re a general contractor or doing a DIY project, it’s important to know your jurisdiction’s building permit guidelines. For more information on your jurisdiction, contact the local zoning board in your town or county for assistance.