Do You Need a Permit to Build a Deck?
Most construction projects require that builders follow local and state codes and apply for permits, even for repairing, replacing, or building a new deck.
Do you need a permit to build a deck?
Although building codes differ from state to state, the rules for deck permits are generally the same. Most builders and DIYers need a permit when building a deck or doing substantial repairs. The general exemption to this rule is when the deck is less than 200 square feet, will not attach to your house, and is below 30 inches in height. Beyond these specifics, you’ll need a deck permit, no matter where you live.
Why Do You Need a Permit for a deck?
Building experts have developed codes and zoning laws for most construction projects. For decks, specifically, you will need a permit if the deck is attached to your home or other buildings on your property.
Your state and city building agencies want to ensure that any structure built on your property is safe. A permit gives a homeowner a record of the building codes and specifications a builder must follow. A permit also gives the homeowner legal recourse if the builder cuts corners. If you are an aspiring homeowner, it’s best to look for real estate for sale that already has a deck so that you don’t have to deal with the permits for any construction work in the future.
Consequences of not having a permit before construction
You must obtain a permit to avoid some financial consequences.
If you have a house inspection and there is no deck permit, you could be fined or required to tear down your deck. Then you’ll have to pay for a new deck, which will require a permit.
Even if no building inspector calls, there are consequences if a guest trips and falls across your deck or one of your railings comes loose, causing someone to fall off your deck. In addition to having someone injured on your property, your insurance company could refuse your claim if you did not obtain a deck permit.
Last, consider what could happen when selling your home. Most reputable buyers will want the deck built according to the current building code. However, if you still need to obtain a deck permit, your potential buyer might require you to apply for a retroactive permit, offer you less than your asking price or decide not to buy your home.
How to Get a Permit for Deck?
Although the permit process can vary from state to state, you can make filing for a deck permit hassle-free with just a little time and attention. By researching either online or by calling your local government agency, you’ll be able to find out what you’ll need for a permit according to your specific state and local laws.
Once you understand what is needed, you can either obtain the permit yourself or ask the contractor to handle this process for you. Most likely, your state and the local agency will want to see the deck drawings, framing views, and the overall construction plan for your proposed deck. First, you’ll need to pay a filing fee, and then, depending on how busy your particular town/state is, you’ll see your permit granted in a few weeks.
In some cases, permits are issued for decks of a basic build when you come in to file for the permit. Indeed, you’ll have to have all the correct paperwork on hand, along with drawings of the planned deck.
Homeowners Association Requirements for Deck Building
If you live in a homeowner’s association (HOA) community, you will most likely have to ask your HOA office permission to build a deck. HOA laws can vary from state to state and from one community to the next.
Is a Permit Required To Repair a Deck?
Whether you need a permit to repair a deck depends on a few factors; how extensive are your deck repairs, what state you live in, and the value of your home. Minor repairs, such as replacing deck boards or fixing a railing, don’t usually require a permit. But more complicated structural jobs, such as replacing stairs, resizing whole deck platforms, and remolding, will most likely require a permit.
Moving any electrical wiring, getting into complex plumbing changes, and changing exits or entrances from your deck to your home will require a permit.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1.) Which States Require Permit for a Deck?
The short answer is that all states require a permit for a deck. But there are some differences for certain jurisdictions regarding permitting laws. For instance, permit requirements are more relaxed in some rural areas due to larger lot sizes and fewer populations. And while minor repairs do not generally require a permit, some states, such as New Jersey and Washington, are strict in what they consider ‘minor.’
2.) Why Your Deck Permit Could Get Denied?
Most permits are denied if the proper paperwork or complete deck plans are not submitted. Detailed plans must include the required hardware for deck railings and joists to handle the weight load for the size deck. You will be granted the permit with this level of specificity and completeness.
3.) Do I need a building permit to put a roof over my deck?
Yes. If you are attaching a roof, you will need a permit. Roofs need to meet building codes set by your state and county.
4.) Do I Need a Permit To Extend a Deck?
Deck extensions require considerable changes to an existing deck. Since the work does not fall into the category of a minor repair, a permit is required. The laws regarding deck construction are specific. However, strict permitting requirements assure homeowners that the decks they build, repair or add to are safe.
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