When it comes to enhancing your outdoor living space with a deck, it's normal to get excited about choosing designs and materials. That said, it's equally important to make sure your project aligns with legal and safety standards.

Overlooking the need for a building permit can lead to a host of complications, ranging from legal troubles to safety hazards. In this article, our deck building professionals will share their knowledge on the complexities of obtaining building permits, ensuring that your new deck is compliant and safe.

The Importance of Building Permits for Deck Building

Legal Compliance

Local zoning laws and regulations are in place to maintain the integrity of your community and environment. These laws dictate what can be built, where it can be built, and the materials and practices used when building. Obtaining a building permit guarantees that all the necessary authorities have vetted your plans, meaning your deck project will proceed safely and in line with your community's values.

The consequences of skipping this step can be significant. Building a deck without a permit might lead to fines, legal action, or the requirement to dismantle your newly constructed deck. In some cases, it can also complicate the future sale of your property. Potential buyers and real estate agents will look for documentation of any home improvements and will recognize that a deck built without proper approval will be costly in the future.

Safety and Standards

One of the primary reasons building codes exist is to guarantee safety. These codes set the standard for the construction industry, outlining the minimum requirements for a solid, reliable structure and a safe building process.

When you obtain a building permit for your deck, it undergoes a review process to ensure that the design and materials meet these safety standards. This includes structural integrity, proper attachment to your home, and safe railings to prevent falls.

Permits also require periodic inspections during the construction process to be certain that the deck is built according to plan and adheres to safety standards at every stage.

Insurance Implications

Building a deck without a permit can have unexpected consequences on your homeowner's insurance. Insurance companies expect any major addition to your property to be built in compliance with local building codes. A permit is usually required for the insurance company to cover your deck under your homeowner's policy.

If your deck is built without a permit and later causes damage or injury, your insurance company may deny your claim. This could leave you financially responsible for any damages or legal liabilities resulting from accidents related to the deck. In contrast, a permitted deck assures the insurance company that the structure adheres to safety standards, potentially avoiding such complications.

Important Steps for Obtaining a Deck Building Permit

Navigating the permit process can seem daunting, but it's a critical step in making sure your deck is built to last and complies with local codes. Here are some of the key steps to help you through the process:

  • Research local building code requirements: Each municipality has unique requirements and codes. Before starting, familiarize yourself with your local building department's specific regulations. This information is often available on their website or by visiting their office in person.
  • Prepare your deck plan: You'll need a detailed plan of your proposed deck, including dimensions, materials, and its location relative to your house. The plan should indicate railings, stairs, and the structural support system. For complex projects, you might need a professional draft.
  • Submit your application: With your plan ready, fill out a building permit application from your local building department. Along with your application, submit your deck plan and any other requested documents, which may include property surveys or material lists.
  • Reviewing and addressing feedback: After submission, your plan will be reviewed by the building department. If the building department asks for revisions, address them promptly. This might require resubmitting new plans or providing additional information.

The Long-Term Benefits of a Deck Building Permit

Enhanced Resale Value of the Property

A deck can substantially increase the value of your home, but only if it's built legally. Prospective homebuyers and real estate agents often scrutinize home improvements for compliance and quality.

A permitted deck is a solid selling point, as it assures potential buyers that the structure is up to code, safe, and an asset rather than a liability. This assurance can translate into a higher resale value, making your deck a wise investment for the future.

Peace of Mind for Homeowners

Knowing your deck is built according to code and with the necessary permits gives you a sense of security. You can relax and enjoy your outdoor space, confident that your deck is safe and compliant with local regulations. This comfort is invaluable, especially when you consider the stress and difficulty of the potential legal and safety issues that can arise from non-permitted construction work.

Longevity and Durability of Professionally Built Decks

A deck constructed with a permit must pass various inspections, ensuring it's built to last. This process guarantees that high-grade materials are used and the construction adheres to the best practices in the industry. Don't think of the inspections as an annoyance but as a guarantee of your deck's quality.

As a result, you get a deck that looks great and can withstand years of use and changing weather. This longevity means fewer repairs and maintenance issues in the long term, saving you time and money.

How a Professional Deck Builder Can Help

Navigating the intricate maze of permit applications and deck construction can be overwhelming for most homeowners. This is where the expertise of a professional deck builder becomes invaluable.

Deck contractors bring a wealth of experience in obtaining building permits and can guide you through the process at every step, ensuring that your deck project complies with all local zoning laws and safety regulations. This expertise simplifies the process, saving you time and preventing costly mistakes. A professional deck builder is adept at translating legal requirements into practical, safe, and aesthetically pleasing deck designs.

Contact MKW Services for Help With Your Deck Permit

If you are looking for a trusted local partner for your deck building project, the contractors at MKW Services are here to help. Simply reach out to us at (905) 716-5635 for everything you need to know about local permits and building requirements.