Decks & Porches


New construction, additions, and remodels of attached decks, porches, terraces, and patios need a building permit for a structural integrity review. A Planner will also need to review the distance of the structure to the property line to ensure it meets the setback requirements.


Depending on its height above the existing ground level, there are different allowances for building decks, etc., in the yard setbacks. You can view options in the Guide to Setback Exceptions or call a Planner on Call. If your structure has no covering or railing, is less than 200 square feet, less than 30 inches off the ground, and not attached to the house, it does not need a building permit.

Historic District

If your structure is located in the historic district, special guidelines apply. You may review these guidelines in our Downtown Historic District Design Standards and Guidelines, or call a Planner for more information.

Items to submit for permit application

Site Plan

  • Site plan must be to scale
  • Include dimensions of the fence
  • Include accurate property line locations in relation to the existing and/or proposed deck
  • Sample Site Plan

Structural/Foundation Plan

  • Include whether the structure is free standing or attached
  • Include the dimension of the deck/porch
  • View our Standard CBJ Foundation Plan, which follows the prescriptive method in the International Residential Code


  • To view front, street, side, and rear yard setbacks for your zoning district, visit our Table of Dimensional Standards, or call our Planner on Call at 586-0715. If you’re unsure of your zoning district, visit our interactive CBJ Parcel Viewer, find your property on the map, and click on your parcel.

Building Permit Application


Photo Credit: Bauer Clifton Interiors