BUILDING A DECK. DO I NEED A DECK PERMIT?
Pic 35 – Deck Framing Layout – Calgary’s Best Deck Builder
Yes, if the deck is higher than 0.6m (2′-0″) above grade, or if the deck has a roof or a pergola, the Alberta Building Code and the City of Calgary, require a Building Permit prior to construction of your deck. Generally, if the surface of a deck is below the 0.6m (2′-0″) height threshold, it is considered a patio and does not require a building permit. In addition, if the proposed deck does not fit within the land use bylaw specifications, it will also require a development permit.
The following are the typical rules for building a deck in the City of Calgary.
- All decks must be at least 6 metres (19′-8″) from the rear property.
- All decks must be at least 1.2 metres (4′-0″) from the side property, except for zero-lot line properties.
- Front decks must be at least 3 metres (9′-10″) from the front property. Or the contextual set back of the neighbouring homes, whichever is greater.
Zero-Lot Line Decks
- Decks can be built up to the zero-lot line side of the property.
- Building a deck over a maintenance access right of way will depend on the rules of the M.A.R.W., registered on your property title.
- In the developed neighbourhoods, the maximum height for a deck that is not on the same exposure as a basement walkout is 1.5 metres (4′-11″).
- In both the developed and developing neighbourhoods, a deck located above the same wall as a walkout basement can exceed 1.5 metres (4′-11″), but if must not exceed 0.3 metres (1′-0″) above the main floor level of the house.
- Rules vary for balconies based on whether they are open or recessed. Open balconies must not project more than 1.85 metres (6′-3/4″) from the building wall to which it is attached. A recessed balcony must not exceed 10 m² (107.6 sq. ft.) in floor area.
- Balcony decks must not project into any side or front setback area.
- Balcony decks can project 1.5 metres (4′-11″) max, into the rear setback area. In most cases it must be at least 6.0 metres (19′-8″) from the rear property line.
- Balcony decks can be a maximum length of 3.1 metres (10′-2″).
Deck Privacy Walls
- A deck or balcony that is attached to a semi-detached, rowhouse or townhouse requires a privacy wall when the deck is located within 1.2 metres (4′-0″) of a shared property line. The privacy wall must have a height of at least 2.0 meters (6′- 6 3/4″) and not be higher than 3.0 meters (9′- 10″), measured from the surface of the deck.
- Privacy walls installed on balconies of single detached homes, have a maximum height of 2.0 metres (6′- 6 3/4″).
Decks with Pergolas, Trellises, and Roofs.
- If a pergola or roof structure is being attached to a house, the structure is considered an addition. The deck and roof structure must be applied for as an addition and comply with the additional rules.
- If a pergola or gazebo is free standing it is considered an accessory building and must comply with the applicable Land Use Bylaw rules.
Pic 36 – Deck Cross Section – Calgary’s Best Deck Builder
- All decks should be built in accordance to the Alberta Building Code, including but not limited to the following.
- Properly calculated pile locations and post sizing.
- Correctly determined beam dimensions and locations, joist dimensions, spacing, and spans.
- Installation of all necessary blocking, hangers, and tie downs.
- Securely installed decking surface, using the correct fasteners.
- Appropriate Railing Heights
- A railing 0.90m (3’-0”) high is required on a deck, if the distance from the deck surface to the ground level is greater than 0.6m (2′-0″) and less than 1.8m (6’-0”).
- A railing 1.07m (3’-6”) high is required on a deck, if the distance from the deck surface to the ground is equal to or exceeds 1.8m (6’-0”).
- The maximum space between railing balusters opening is 0′-4″ wide.
The surrounding cities of Airdrie and Okotoks, and the municipal districts of Foothills and Rockyview all require building permits for decks, have similar land use regulations, and more rural appropriate setback distances.
All decks must be built in compliance with any restrictive covenants, caveats or other legal restrictions that are registered on your properties Certificate of Title.
Obtaining the proper permitting for your deck will ensure that your new deck meets all the Land Use Bylaws and is built in accordance to the Alberta Building Codes.
SHAW Renovation & Construction is a family-owned company that has been serving Calgary for over 30-year. We strive to provide the highest level of workmanship and customer satisfaction.
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