Do You Need a Permit to Build a Patio Cover? [WHY]

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Yes, a permit is required for building patio covers.

Building a patio cover is a great way to improve your outdoor living space. It can provide you with shade and protection from the elements, making it a perfect spot to relax or entertain guests.

But before you start construction, it’s important to make sure you comply with all local building codes and regulations.

Whether you are looking to install a new patio cover or simply renovate your current one, it is important to understand the permitting process involved.

This blog post will provide an overview of when a permit is necessary and what types of patio covers are typically exempt from requiring a permit. Let’s get started.

Do You Need a Permit to Build a Patio Cover

Do You Need a Permit to Build a Patio Cover?

Yes, a permit is required for building patio covers in some cases according to the National Association of Home Builders.

The NAHB states that “local building codes typically regulate the size and height of attached structures, such as a patio cover. A permit is usually needed for any structure that will be attached to your home.”

It is important to check with your local municipality to see what their specific requirements are regarding permits for patio covers. Each city and county has its own set of rules and regulations that must be followed.

Read on to learn about when permits are required, when more than one is required, why you should always build to code, and what could happen if you don’t.

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Types of Patio Covers That May Require a Permit

There are several types of patio covers that may require a permit, depending on your location and municipality. These include:

Attached patio covers: Any patio cover that is attached to your house will likely require a permit, as this type of construction can impact the structural integrity of your home.

Freestanding patio covers: If your patio cover is not attached to your house, it may still require a permit depending on its size and height.

Patio roofs: A patio roof is a type of freestanding patio cover that typically requires a permit.

Gazebos: Gazebos are another type of freestanding patio cover that often require a permit.

If you’re unsure whether or not your patio cover project will require a permit, be sure to check with your local building department or homeowners association. Pulling a permit may seem like an extra hassle, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry

Do It Yourself or Licensed Contractor: Permit Requirements

Before constructing an attached or detached structure, most incorporated cities will require you to obtain a permit. The permitting process is designed to ensure that structures are built safely and securely.

When it comes to patio covers, most homeowners choose between hiring a contractor and doing it themselves. Here’s how the permit application process works for both:

  • If you’re going to hire a contractor, make sure they’re licensed. Most cities and counties have a way to see if the contractor you’ve chosen has applied for a permit. For more information, go to your city’s Development Services website.

  • Your city and county permitting requirements will be familiar to licensed contractors. They will be able to obtain the necessary permits and include the cost in their estimate.

  • If you want to do a project on your own, you’ll need to get permits from your city or county. Most cities provide an online or phone-based guide to help you find the exact permit you’ll need based on the specifics of your project.

  • Before granting a permit in a Do It Yourself situation, some cities may require you to pass a Homeowners Exam to demonstrate your proficiency in specific trades.

  • To ensure that you’re following the proper building codes and obtaining the necessary permits, you should contact your local government. The more local the governing body, the more thorough the building codes are.
Do You Need a Permit to Build a Patio Cover

When are Additional Permits Required for Patio Covers?

For general safety, states have minimum building codes. Cities and counties frequently create their own permitting rules, which are often more stringent. As we’ve seen, the more local the governing body, the stricter the building codes must be, but some situations necessitate even more clearance.

HOAs can impose restrictions on the design, height, and even finish material of your home. Homeowner’s Associations are usually formed in single-family home communities and neighborhoods to enforce community rules, so you should find out if your home is part of one when you move in.

Before you start building, even before you get a permit, contact your Homeowners Association to see if they have any restrictions on the height of your structure. If you can find a local licensed contractor who has done work in your HOA before, they should be aware of all restrictions.

Homeowners associations have the power to fine property owners who do not follow building height and finish specifications. HOAs have the authority to impose reasonable fines on homeowners who do not follow the HOA’s rules.

Although the Homeowners Association cannot compel you to sell your home and relocate, they can file a lawsuit that could result in foreclosure.

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What Do I Need to Do to Obtain a Permit To Build a Patio Cover?

Here’s some good news if you’ve hired a licensed contractor and verified their license. You shouldn’t need to do anything else to get the permits you need for your project. A licensed contractor should be able to obtain all of the necessary permits in order to complete your project safely and on time.

There’s no need to be concerned about the permitting process if you’re completing your patio cover project yourself. Obtaining a permit on your own may appear daunting, but there are a few simple steps to take that will make the process simple and quick. Here’s what you should do:

The first step is to contact your city’s building official and set up an appointment. This call may provide you with advice on what to bring to your appointment.

In general, it’s a good idea to bring the following information with you:

  • A detailed drawing of the patio cover or deck you want to build.
  • The proposed types of footings you’ll use are listed in a material (concrete, deck blocks, etc.)
  • Joint spacing suggestions
  • Make a note of where your stairs will go if you’re building a deck with a patio cover. Make a note of the deck’s length, width, and height.

Permits will almost certainly cost you money. A permit for a patio cover with or without a deck can cost anywhere from $0 to $500 on average. After receiving the details of your proposed structure, your local building official should be able to provide you with exact costs.

What if I Build My Patio Cover Without A Permit?

If you choose to construct your patio cover without first obtaining the necessary permit, you risk having to pay significant fines. In some cases, you may even be required to tear down the entire structure.

The bottom line is that it is always better to err on the side of caution and obtain the proper permits before beginning any construction project on your property.

A patio cover built without a permit may endanger you, your family, and anyone else who uses your patio or deck. Permits are required to ensure that structures are constructed in accordance with the most recent and stringent building codes.

These codes ensure that structures are strong and safe. Once your structure is complete, building inspectors will pass or fail it, and without a permit, there will be no inspection.

Although there may be no immediate consequences if your structure is built without a permit, there are several instances where failure to obtain a permit can jeopardize your financial security.

  • If your structure is, in fact, unstable, and its failure hurts someone, you can be held personally responsible for damages and medical bills. 
  • Suppose you file an insurance claim for damages due to a faulty structure, and it is discovered that there was no permit obtained when it was built. In that case, your insurance company can choose not to cover any damages, holding you financially responsible.
  • If your city finds your structure built without a permit, you can be ordered to tear it down or even pay back property taxes on the structure.

If you have a structure on your property and are trying to sell it, a building inspector will almost certainly discover it if it is deemed unsafe. This discovery could jeopardize any offers you’ve received for your home, or even put the sale on hold.

Any of the aforementioned scenarios could harm your homeownership reputation. The last thing you want is for someone to be injured on your property because of a structure you built without a permit. As a result, your friends and family may be hesitant to visit your patio cover or deck in the future.

Do You Need a Permit to Build a Patio Cover

Types of Patio Covers That May Not Require a Permit

Temporary” or “Portable

There are some types of patio covers that may not require a permit, such as those that are considered to be “temporary” or “portable.” Temporary structures are typically defined as those that can be easily taken down and/or moved. Portable structures are those that can be moved from one location to another.

Existing Structure

Another type of patio cover that may not require a permit is one that is attached to an existing structure, such as a home or garage. However, it is important to check with your local municipality to see if there are any size restrictions in place.

When in doubt, it is always best to err on the side of caution and obtain a permit before beginning any construction work. This will help to ensure that you are in compliance with all local building codes and regulations.

Do I Need a Permit to Build a Patio Cover in Texas?

Yes, a building permit is only required for patios/decks greater than thirty (30) inches in height from ground level and/or 120 square feet or greater in area; as well as patio covers 120 square feet or greater in area.

If your patio cover is less than 30 inches in height or less than 120 square feet in area, a permit is not required;

however, all zoning and setback requirements must still be met. A permit is also not required if you are only replacing an existing roof on an existing patio/deck.

Do I Need a Permit to Build a Patio Cover in Washington State?

You may need a permit to build a patio cover in Washington State, depending on the size and location of the proposed patio cover.

If you are planning to build a patio cover that is attached to your home, you will likely need a building permit. Detached patio covers may also require a permit, depending on their size and height. Check with your local building department to determine if a permit is required for your project.

Do I Need a Permit to Build a Patio Cover in Florida?

You may need a permit to build a patio cover in Florida, depending on the size and type of structure you plan to build.

If you are planning a large or permanent patio cover, it is likely that you will need to obtain a building permit from your local municipality. Check with your city or county office to find out what their requirements are.

Smaller, temporary patio covers may not require a permit. However, it is always best to check with your local authorities to be sure. Building without the proper permits can result in expensive fines.

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Conclusion

Building a patio cover can be a great way to extend your living space and enjoy the outdoors. However, it is important to understand the permitting process involved before beginning construction. In some cases, a permit may be required in order to proceed. This typically depends on the municipality in which you live and the type of patio cover you are planning to build.

We hope this blog post has been helpful in understanding the permitting process for building a patio cover.

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