Obtaining a retroactive deck building permit

May 6, 2016 / Permit Pointers

Without a doubt, deck construction is the number one DIY residential improvement project for homeowners.  Homeowners will build their deck with advice from the local hardware store or their (always very knowledgeable) brother-in-law. With this in mind, obtaining a deck building permit is not always a step considered in the planning and yes, it is usually required.

Here are 4 things you need to know about obtaining a retroactive deck building permit.

You are not alone
Many homeowners are not aware that the construction of a deck requires a building permit and sometimes, a development permit. Even contractors are not always up to date with the requirements. Most cities will review the building permit for a deck after the deck has been built, but, often a penalty is applied and there is no guarantee that the permit will be approved without upgrades.

There is no such things as a grandfathered deck
That’s right! If you did not get a permit, you do not have legal protected rights until you do so and that is true even if you built the deck 20 years ago. Here is any example: if you built your deck to the regulations in place in 1996 and did not get a permit, you will need to upgrade your deck to meet today’s standard when you apply for it.

You will not be able to obtain a compliance stamp on your RPR
If you choose to sell your home, you will need to obtain a Real Property Report with a stamp of compliance from the local jurisdiction. If you built a deck without the proper permits, the city will reject your application until you obtain the proper approvals.

Regulations change constantly
Often we hear homeowners stating that the deck was built by a professional contractor and everything is fine. That may be true at the time of construction, but regulations (such as the height or the setbacks) change often and what was right may now be prohibited. Without permits approved at the time of construction, you will need to bring your deck to today’s regulations.

Our knowledge and experience with Zoning Bylaws and Building Code Regulations allow us to obtain the right permits after the fact. Contact us for more information.

Keep reading : What drawings do you need to obtain a Deck Permit