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Permit Requirements for Residential Decks

The following are required for submitting a deck permit:

  1. Building Permit Application. If contractors are being used they shall be listed on your application at the time of submittal.
  2. Construction documents.  One set of scaled (¼” = 1’) construction plans on white paper in blue or black ink. Plans shall include:
    • Site plan showing dimensions to property lines and other structures.
    • Location of existing egress windows and window wells under the deck.
    • Structural framing plans shall include all dimensions, species and size of lumber, size and spacing of caisson footings, posts, beams, joists, and a ledger attachment detail.
    • Stair and railing details when applicable.
    • Size and type of decking material.  When synthetic decking or railing is specified, the manufacturer’s specifications shall be provided.
    • Elevation drawings showing complete construction including all exterior elevations. Required guards shall not have openings from the walking surface to the required guard height which allow passage of a sphere 4 inches in diameter.
    • If a hot tub will be incorporated into or on top of the deck, show location on framing plan.  Additional structural requirements may apply.
  3. Letter from Architectural Control Committee (ACC) (where applicable).  If this letter is not included with your submittal, your permit will be placed “on hold” for 10 working days to allow the Architectural Control Committee to complete their review process.

Measuring to Grade – Is your deck project less than 30” inches above grade?

How to measure the height of the deck –

Elevation shall be measured to an imaginary point three (3) feet out horizontally from the edge of the deck. If any point within this cross-hatched area measures greater than 30″, then the deck shall be considered over 30″ above grade.



If your deck project is LESS than 30” inches above grade, as determined in accordance with this diagram, there will be NO PERMIT FEES or PLAN REVIEW FEES. Due to statutory requirements, Use Tax must be collected.

Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions about decks

When do I need a permit for building a deck?
All decks require a permit.

How long will it take to process my application?
If the permit application is complete and there are no problems with the plans, it should take only 7 – 10 business days. The site plan will be reviewed by Douglas County Zoning for compliance to set-backs. Turn around times are estimates only and may vary depending on work load.

How long is my permit good for?
As long as work and inspections continue the permit will be valid. If the project is abandoned or inspections are not requested for a period of 180 days or more, the permit will expire. A new permit will have to be issued before work can be resumed.

Do I need to have my permit issued for me to start working on my deck?
The Code states that you must have a permit in your possession before starting any work.