A deck is a major housing addition, and typically a serious home project, most often performed by a licensed decking professional, but occasionally a homeowner may decide to build a deck themselves. Prior to deciding on decking design, materials, and measuring, you should be considering a permit to build your deck. In Maryland the rules and regulations of building a deck will differ from county to county, but in almost all cases you will require a permit to build that deck. In addition to a building permit, an electrical permit is sometimes also needed.
When is a Permit Required?
A building permit in Maryland is typically required for all decks that are supported by footings, this is regardless of how tall or what grade the deck is built. Keep in mind that each Maryland County has it’s own permits and regulations, not every counties zoning requirements are the same.
How Do I Get a Permit?
The Maryland County that you live in has a department called DPS, Department of Permitting Services. This department reviews designs and plans, performs inspections and surveys, and ultimately determines the approval of a permit for building a deck.
The Link to Get a permit for a few Maryland Counties are:
Deck permit Factors
Some County codes may restrict you from building a deck on your home, this is why you must apply for the permit or discuss with your builder what your options are.
Homeowners should check with the Zoning Section about the yard and other zoning-related requirements. Minimum yard (setback) requirements, as set forth in the County Zoning Ordinance, represent the minimum distance from the property’s boundary lines that are required for the location of any deck.
Well & Septic Requirements
Homeowners should check with the Well & Septic Section about the requirements pertaining to construction on lots served by a septic system or private well. Appropriate clearances from the septic system or well must be maintained.
Covenants and Deed Restrictions
Many of the subdivisions and developments in Maryland Counties have private deed restrictions and covenants regulating the construction of decks beyond the limitations contained in County Ordinances. These amount to contractual agreements and thus the County does not enforce covenants and deed restrictions. Should you have questions about your development’s restrictions, you may obtain information from your homeowners association, or civic association.
If you are planning to build a deck in Maryland keep in mind that obtaining a permit is probably an important first step. Remember that working with a licensed and insured professional deck builder like North American Deck and Patio will ensure your deck is built to code and that your process is handled according to your county’s regulations.