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Everything You Need To Know About Permits For Decks

Building a deck means a lot of architectural work, designs, and labor. For most decks, in fact, there’s also a good amount of paperwork that needs to be done before you even start leveling the ground for your decking project.

The paper work represents the building permits for decks.

When your contractor is not prepared, obtaining the deck permit can set your project back for days. When your deck builder knows what he’s doing, the process can flow and you can get your deck project finished in record time.

Keep reading to find everything you need to know about permits for decks.

A white railing for an elevated deck that needed a building permit

What Are Building Permits For Decks?

The deck permit is a piece of paper that proves your deck is safe to build and use. You need this paper before you can start building the deck. On the contrary, if an inspector ever sees a deck that has no building permit, you’ll have to tear it down, apply for the permit, and start all over.

While this can sound a bit exaggerated, you need to understand that this happens so your deck is 100% safe for you and your loved ones.

Getting a permit is also a good idea to determine the house and property lines properly. If your deck construction is at the edge of the property, you don’t want it to be the reason you have a fight with your neighbor.

The Process To Obtain Permits For Decks

To get the permit for building a deck, you or your licensed contractor will need to go through some steps.
A cedar decking installation in progress with permits for decks needed

Hire A Contractor To Easily Get Permits For Decks

Going back and forth to the building department of your city is an adventure. They’ll send you back for extra documents, they’ll need something else, or they’ll just deny your application for who knows what reason.

Needless to say, this causes you to lose a lot of time and patience that could have been invested better.

The only way to avoid such issues and to be 100% percent sure you’re getting your building permit quickly and effortlessly is to get a contractor to do it for you. Licensed deck builders know the application process inside out, which ensures a fast process where you obtain all the paperwork in no time.

Contractors will also take care of scheduling visits with the city inspectors, and as long as you’re working with a professional, your project will pass all tests.

With Werner Decks, we’re making sure your deck building process goes smooth and you won’t have to worry about anything. We’re your local licensed contractors that can get you the best deck in MD!

What Decks Will Need Building Permits?

In a nutshell, most decks require permits.

According to Anne Arundel County, MD, “a deck is usually attached to a house and is considered an addition to a home. A building permit is required to be issued prior to starting work. Decks located outside of the Critical Area and served by public water and public sewer may be applied for and reviewed the same day. A deck located within the Critical Area and served by well and/or septic will be reviewed within 10 working days.”

To build a deck, you’ll have to obtain a Residential Single Family Dwelling Permit. To find more information about a permit for decks, visit the Residential Single Family Dwelling Permit info page.

The building code states that you’ll need a permit for:

An elevated deck in MD with two sets of stairs

When Don't You Need Permits For Decks?

There are certain instances when a permit is not required, such as if you only want to replace or add on to your current deck. If you just want to upgrade or expand your present deck, for example, no permission is necessary.

Again, depending on your county codes, these factors could be different. We strongly recommend calling a professional deck builder in your area to find out exactly if you need a permit, but also to determine the exact property line.
A small pond with a wood patio


Getting a deck is undoubtedly a worthwhile investment. It offers you a great space to relax and kick back with your friends. An ideal place to cook a barbecue and invite your family and neighbors over. Or just a calm environment to drink coffee in the morning and clear your mind.

While the permit process can be troublesome when you want to apply by yourself, it gets incredibly fast and easy when your contractor does it for you.

Werner Decks offers professional deck building in Annapolis, Severna Park, Arnold, Crofton, Edgewater, and neighboring counties. We’ll take care of the building permits for you, so you don’t have to waste any time with any paperwork. We’ll have the construction plans ready, the drawings, design, and we’ll schedule all the necessary inspections.

Call us today to find out exactly what are the permit for decks requirements in your city and let our experts take care of everything for you!