Deck Permits: Why You Need One & How to Apply – Vancouver Island – Victoria
Adding a Deck?
Many homeowners are surprised when they are told they need to get a permit in order to build a deck. It may seem like a hassle, but it is well worth the small investment of time and money to ensure your deck is built to code standards and is in compliance with local regulations. A deck can be a great addition to a home, adding to the enjoyment of your property. When considering adding a deck or balcony, property owners should be aware of the regulations, bylaws, and zoning implications.
Zoning regulation Bylaw
Many of the City’s neighbourhoods are zoned for residential use, either single- family dwelling or duplex these zones permit the addition of a deck; however, the following zoning requirements must also be adhered to:
decks and any associated structures such as stairs must meet all the minimum setback distances from all property lines. Please note that the setback requirements for a deck addition may be different than the setbacks of the existing house (e.g. when the existing house does not meet the required setbacks).
the deck is included in the site coverage calculations – Saanich, and Victoria (check city definition of “Site Coverage” and the Zoning Regulation Bylaw). The addition of a deck must not create a non-conformity for an existing accessory building(s), such as a detached garage or a shed. accessory buildings must be located in the rear yard with a minimum separation requirement from the principal building in order to determine the zoning requirements for your property, you must first clarify which zone applies. to do this, you can refer to the City’s zoning map, which is usually available online for your municipality.
If the proposed deck addition cannot meet the requirements of the Zoning Regulation Bylaw, there are appeal processes available. the Board of Variance is empowered to deal with appeals for minor variances where undue hardship can be demonstrated. For variances that go beyond the scope of the Board of Variance, City Council can grant variances by way of a development Variance Permit. For information regarding these processes, please contact development Services at your local municipality or contact Premium Urban Design at 250.383-9990.
Before you can begin construction, you will need to obtain a Building Permit. For more information regarding Building Permits contact Premium Urban Design at 250.383-9990.
To apply for a deck permit you will usually need to supply (3-5) copies of scaled drawings of the framing plan view (overhead) of your proposed deck. In most cases, you may be asked to also provide an elevation drawing (front or side view) to communicate even more information about the deck. We use computer drafting software to create the plans, however a hand drawing using ¼” graph paper is also acceptable. Our detailed deck plans that cover all the bases are available for free download in our plans section.
Your plan will need to indicate the locations, spacing and sizes of your footings, beams and joists for the inspectors to be able to make sure it meets structural code requirements. Your plan will also have to include notes or visual details showing how you are going to install the footings, guard rails, stairs and the ledger board. You will be expected to specify what types and grades of materials you are using for the framing, decking and rails and what kind of hardware and fasteners you plan to use. If you are using composite materials, you will need to verify it is approved to be used in your area.
Building codes are concerned with fire spread, ensuring that one home will not catch another on fire. Maintaining sufficient distance between building structures will both satisfy this concern. Decks are not clearly described in building codes regarding the safe distance, referred to as “fire separation distance”. However, the home itself can be as close as 3m, so that’s a conservative distance to go with.