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Building a Deck

What is a deck?

A residential deck is a raised platform or a series of raised platforms attached to or detached to a dwelling intended for use as an outdoor living area.

Are building permits required?

Decks not attached to the house and less than 10 square metres (108 square feet) in area do not require a building permit. Decks larger than 10 square metres (108 square feet) and all decks attached to a dwelling that is more than 0.60 metres (2 feet) above grade require a building permit. However, all decks must comply with the zoning by-law provisions, regardless of size or height.

Where can a deck be located on the property?

Setbacks are determined by different factors i.e. zone, location (front, rear or side yard). Consult the Planning Department for the setbacks required for your deck.

What drawings are required?

Drawings prepared by the homeowner are acceptable for submission as long as they are drawn to scale and accurately describe the construction. You may use a standard deck construction drawing to submit with your permit application or use the information contained to prepare your drawings. If a designer other than the homeowner prepares the design of the deck, they are required to be qualified.

For more information on qualification, visit the Government of Ontario Qualification and Registration page.

The following three drawings are usually required:

  • Site plan: A site plan or survey of your lot showing all lot lines and dimensions, size and location of all existing buildings, the size and location of the proposed deck and location of any septic system. Indicate all setbacks from the proposed deck to the property lines.
  • Floor plan: A floor plan of the proposed deck complete with overall dimensions, centre to centre spacing of beams and piers. Indicate the size of piers, beams, and joists; as well indicate location of stairs and number of risers.
  • Cross section: A cross section showing the construction materials and assembly criteria are required. It is important to indicate the distance from the grade to the top of the deck.

How and where do I apply for a building permit?

When you are ready to apply, bring two copies of your plans to:
Municipal Administrative Centre (3rd Floor)
40 Temperance Street, Bowmanville

You will need to fill out the building permit application and pay the fee. We will review your submission to ensure compliance with the Ontario Building Code, the Ontario Building Code Act, the zoning by-law and all applicable laws. We will issue your building permit promptly if the proposed construction meets all the requirements.

How much will it cost?

The cost of the building permit is $135 per deck.

What inspections are required?

The following three inspections are required:

  • Footing: Prior to pouring concrete into sonotubes
  • Framing: Upon completion of structural framing, prior to guard rails and deck boards in place
  • Final: Completion of deck with guardrails and deck boards in place

To arrange for an inspection, please call 905-623-7876. Call before 3 p.m. for next day inspection.


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