Do You Need A Permit To Build a Deck?

This is a question we get asked a lot. Some may think that it’s a gray area because it isn’t an interior space that’s part of the home itself. However, it is structural which is why the city of Austin typically requires a permit if you’re building a new deck or replacing an existing one.

The City of Austin says:

“A permit is required to erect, construct, enlarge, alter, repair, improve, remove, convert, move or demolish any building or structure within the City’s zoning jurisdiction or in a Municipal Utility District.“

Deck Permits

Why You Want to Get a Permit

Beyond it being the law there are several other reasons why you would want to have a permit when building a deck.

Home Insurance

If an accident happens on the deck, but there’s no permit for it you may have a hard time getting your home insurance to cover it.

Inspections During a Sell

When it comes time to sell your home and there’s no permit for the deck you could run into issues.

Appraisal Value

A deck can increase your property value significantly. In fact, it’s one of the best improvements you can make if you want to see a return on your investment. Yes, you’re taxes may go up slightly, but the loan-to-value amount of your house will be lower, and it can also help you get a better price on your home when it comes time to sell.

HOA Approval

If you live in a neighborhood with an HOA they may impose fines or even a lawsuit if you build a deck without getting a permit first. There might also be steps you have to take to get their approval for the build in addition to the permit.

The Ins and Outs of Deck Permits in Austin

Below are some of the most important points to know about Austin deck permits.

· You’ll likely have to get site plan approval or exemption before a permit will be issued.

· An Austin decking contractor can help secure the permits, but you can get a permit on your own and do the project yourself.

· Your Austin decking supplier may be able to draw up the plans for you if you are doing a DIY build.

· Once you have a permit you have to schedule an inspection so the city can ensure the deck is up to code.

· The building permit fee for a newly constructed deck will be based on square feet. Remodels are passed on the total cost of labor and materials for the project.

· Permits will expire 181 days after its issued so the work needs to be completed and/or inspected by then or you’ll have to fill out a reactivation form and pay a $74 reactivation fee.

The process of getting a permit to build a deck can take a little bit of time so it’s best to start the ball rolling at least a month before you’d like to “break ground”.

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