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Residential Deck Permits

When is a Deck Permit Required?Deck Photo

A building permit is required for all decks that are supported by footings regardless of the height above grade.  For decks constructed with stairway illumination or hot tubs, spas, etc., an electrical permit may also be required.

By reviewing plans prior to issuing permits and performing field inspections for construction, alterations and improvements, the Department of Permitting Services (DPS) assists homeowners to comply with the provisions of the law.

Some Regulations that Govern Deck Construction are:

Montgomery County Building Code - The Code incorporates, by reference, the International Residential Code (IRC) for One- and Two-Family Dwellings, 2015 edition, and the National Electric Code (NEC), 2014 edition, with local amendments.

Zoning Requirements - 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 Montgomery County 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.

What is the Application Process?

To apply for a building permit, the applicant must submit two sets of the site and construction plans along with a building permit application to the Department of Permitting Services for review. All drawings must be prepared in pen or equal on sheets no smaller than 8x11 inches. The minimum acceptable scale is inch = 1 foot.  See the table below for additional details regarding construction plans, site plans and other submittal requirements.

What is the Residential Walk Thru/Fast Track Permit Process?

This process was developed to obtain building permits for eligible projects while you wait. If the application meets these guidelines and all applicable legislation, in most cases, you will leave with the permit after a single visit in a timely manner. If the application cannot be completely processed, it will be returned to your team with partial approvals. If the application is for a complex design, structural modifications, or unusual design, it will require extensive reviews. Therefore, the application will be taken in for regular review process. Applications must be on the Residential Walk-Thru Fast Track Queue before 2:30 PM - otherwise applications may not be reviewed by the building plan reviewers while you wait and applications would be taken in for regular review process. 


Application Package
Application Application for Residential Building Permit
Roadside Tree Affidavit Roadside Tree Affidavit
Guidelines Guidelines for Homeowners Building Decks
  MC Residential Deck Details
Fees and Taxes
Fee Schedule Executive Regulations for Fees
Automation Enhancement Fee Automation Enhancement Fee
Credit Card Form Credit Card Authorization Form
No Bonds  
Codes, Standards, Executive Regulations
Chapter 8 Montgomery County Code
Guidelines, Memorandum of Understandings, Interpretations
MC Residential Deck Details Guidelines for Homeowners Building Residential Decks
Titleblock Requirements for Plan Submittal Titleblock Requirements
When and What Inspections Are Required Residential Inspections Timing Checklist 
Buildings Notice of Required Residential Building Inspections
Decks Notice of Required Residential Deck Inspections
Third Party Third Party Inspections
Scheduling Residential Inspections Page
Frequently Asked Questions
311 Web Portal: Enter key word "Demolition"
Online Permitting Status Information and Inspections
Online Data Search Search DPS
Call for More Information
In Montgomery County 311
Outside of Montgomery County 240-777-0311
Other Agencies to Contact
Other Agencies and Utilities to Contact Allegheny Power
  American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
  American Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
  Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. (BG&E)
  Board of Appeals
  Historical Preservation
  International Code Council (ICC)
  Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation
  Maryland Department of the Environment
  Maryland Division of State Documents
  Masonry Institute of America (MIA)
  Miss Utility
  National Glass Association (NGA)
  MNCPPC: Historic Area Work Permits
  MNCPPC: MC Atlas
  MNCPPC: Zoning
  National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
  Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO)
  U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)
  Washington Gas Light Co.