BUILDING PERMITS FOR DECKS & BALCONIES
PERMIT REQUIREMENTS: Building permits are required for all decks that are attached to the home or are over 30" above grade. Decks less than 30" above grade and not attached to other structures do not require a building permit but are required to meet the land use and setback requirements of the City Zoning Code. Zoning questions should be directed to the Planning and Zoning Department.
PERMIT FEES: The building permit fee is based on the project's construction costs for building materials and labor and is designed to cover the cost of a plan review and the field inspections that will be done during construction. The plan review is done by the building inspector in order to spot potential problems or pitfalls that may arise. The inspector will make notes on the plan for your use. Construction inspections will be done during the project to insure code compliance and the materials you use are installed safely. The plan review and inspections are not designed to be a guarantee of the work but are done to provide a reasonable degree of review and observation so the project will be successful, safe and long lasting.
INFORMATION NECESSARY WHEN APPLYING FOR A PERMIT: Information necessary for the Inspections Department to do a proper job of plan review and to help the project go smoothly are as follows;
1. Completed building permit application
2. 2 copies of site plan or survey
3. 2 copies of floor plan
4. 2 copies of elevation(s)
Remember the purpose of the plan review is for the inspector to use his or her experience to inform you of potential problems or make suggestions, so the more information shown on the plans the more likely your project will be successful.
MINIMUM PLAN DETAILS NECESSARY FOR A PROPER REVIEW: The following text and sample drawings show the minimum detail expected so the permit process can proceed smoothly. Plans do not need to be professionally drawn but should include all of the information requested. The application for permit can be filled out at the time you drop off your plans. Permits can be handled by stopping in at city hall or by mail.
| SAMPLE SITE PLAN
| SUBMIT 2 COPIES OF A CERTIFICATE OF SURVEY OR SITE PLAN:
A certificate of survey or site plan needs to be drawn to scale indicating the lot dimensions, the location and size of the existing structure(s), and the location and the size of the proposed structure. Indicate the setbacks from property lines of the existing and proposed structure(s). See sample site plan.
| SUBMIT 2 COPIES OF THE FLOOR PLAN SHOWING PROPOSED DESIGN AND MATERIALS:
All drawings need to be drawn to scale and the scale should be shown on the drawing. Floor plans should include the following:
1. Proposed deck size
2. Size and spacing of floor joists
3. Size of decking material
4. Size, location and spacing of posts
5. Size of beams
6. Type of lumber to be used
| SAMPLE FLOOR PLAN
SUBMIT 2 COPIES OF ELEVATION SHOWING THE PROPOSED DESIGN:
All elevations should include the following:
|1. Height of structure from grade
2. Size and depth of footings
3. Guardrail height and spacing (if any)
4. Stairway rise & run and handrail height (if any)
5. Clearance to overhead wires (if applicable)
| STAIR DETAIL INFORMATION
|ACCEPTABLE HANDRAIL DETAILS|
LAND USE RESTRICTIONS:
Setbacks from property lines vary depending upon the city and zoning district your home is located in. Some communities have additional zoning provisions besides setbacks that may apply to a deck. Contact the Building or Planning Department in your community for the requirements in your location. This is an important first step in the planning for any deck project.
BUILDING CODE REQUIREMENTS:
FOOTINGS: Footings for decks must extend down to minimum of 42 inches below finished grade.
LIVE LOAD: All decks shall be designed to support a live load of 40 pounds per square foot. Balconies must be designed to support a live load of 60 pounds per square foot.
WOOD REQUIRED: All exposed wood used in the construction of any deck must be approved wood of natural resistance to decay such as redwood, cedar, or approved treated wood. This includes posts, beams, joists, decking and railings. Ledger boards must be bolted or lagged to the building and all connections between the deck and dwelling must be flashed with metal flashing.
COLUMNS AND POSTS: Columns and posts supporting balconies & decks exposed to the weather or to water splash must be supported and connected to concrete piers. Columns and posts in contact with the ground or embedded in concrete or masonry must be of special pressure treated wood approved for ground contact .60 treated.
CANTILEVERS: Decks should not overhang beams by more than two feet, nor should beams overhang posts by more than a foot at the ends. Floor joist spacing at 24 inches on center requires minimum 2 x decking, and floor joist spacing at 16 inches on center requires minimum 1 x decking.
STAIRS: The minimum width is 36 inches for all stairs and walkways decks. The Maximum riser height is 8 inches and the minimum riser height is 4 inches. The minimum run is 9 inches. The largest tread width or riser height shall not exceed the smallest by more than 3/8 inch. (See detail for stair requirements).
HANDRAILS: The top of all handrails going down stairs shall be placed not less than 34 inches or no more than 38 inches above the nosing of the treads. Stairways having four or more risers shall have at least one handrail. Handrail ends shall be returned or terminated into the posts. The handrail shall not be less than 1 1/4” or more than 2 inches in cross-sectional dimension or the shape shall provide an equivalent gripping surface. The handrail shall have a smooth surface with no sharp corners. (See detail on acceptable handrails).
GUARDRAILS: All decks, balconies or porches, open sides of landings and stairs which are more than 30 inches above grade or floor below must be protected by a guardrail not less than 36 inches in height. Open guardrails and stair railings require intermediate rails or an ornamental pattern such that a ball 4 inches in diameter cannot pass through.
NAILS & SCREWS: Use only stainless steel, high strength aluminum or hot-dipped galvanized nails. Screws should be used for deck boards, stair runs, and spindles only. Use only approved joist hanger nails in joist hangers and fill all holes (screws are not allowed in joist hangers).
ELECTRICAL WIRES: The electrical code requires overhead power lines to be located a minimum 10’ above deck and platforms. Existing lines may need to be raised if a new deck is to be installed beneath them.
OUTSIDE METERS, WELLS AND SEPTIC SYSTEMS: When locating a deck care must be given to the location of existing gas and electric meters, wells and septic systems. These may need to be relocated to allow for construction of the deck. Septic systems and wells may be difficult to relocate, requiring an alternate location for the deck. Prior to placement of any deck that will interfere with these devices contact the local Building Inspector.
1. FOOTINGS: After the holes are dug, but prior to the pouring of concrete!
2. FRAMING: To be made after all framing, blocking and bracing are in place and prior to closing the construction so as to make it accessible for inspection. (This inspection can be skipped and completed at the time of the final inspection if all parts of the framing will be visible and accessible at the final inspection.)
3. FINAL: To be made upon completion of the deck and finish grading.
4. OTHER INSPECTIONS: In addition to the three inspections above, the inspector may make or require other inspectors to ascertain compliance with the provisions of the code or to assist you with your questions or concerns during the construction process.