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Do I Need A Permit To Build A Patio Cover?   

In many cities, the building code requires a permit to build a covered patio or porch extension. At the same time, these regulations exist to protect the community and ensure that everyone has adequate light and air space. A permit expedites the construction process and ensures that all standards are met. If your project involves replacing an existing window or door, it’s not necessary. Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know about permits and patio covers.

Do I Need a Permit to Build a Patio Cover?

You may need a permit to build a patio cover, depending on the size and location of the patio cover. Building codes vary by municipality, so it’s best to check with your local building department to see if a permit is required. Generally, patio covers that are attached to the house or are less than 200 square feet do not require a permit. If you live in an area with homeowner’s association (HOA) rules, you may also need to get approval from the HOA before beginning construction.

Why Do I Need A Permit To Build A Patio Cover?

Zoning and Covenants

If your backyard is in a residential area, you need to check with your city’s zoning laws to make sure your patio cover project is permitted. You may also need to check covenants, which are homeowners’ agreements to maintain a certain property standard. Some covenants require that homeowners get permits for major construction projects in their backyards, which include adding a patio cover. If your neighborhood is in an area that allows for commercial use, like a retail strip or a highway, you may need to get permits for certain zoning regulations. Even if you don’t think your patio cover project will fall under zoning laws, it’s important to check with your city’s zoning department to make sure.

Safety Regulations

Safety regulations are an important part of getting a permit for your patio cover project. These regulations ensure that your new structure is built to code, is structurally sound, and meets the standards for fire safety. If your city has any building codes in place, you’ll need to check with your building permit department to see if patio covers fall under those codes. You can also check if there are any state or federal regulations that apply to your project. Patio covers are not a type of structure that has its own code, so you’ll likely need to add bracing and support beams to your current structure to meet building code requirements. Make sure to follow the fire codes that apply to your patio cover project, too. If your project is near a fire hydrant or close to a large commercial building, your patio cover may need to meet extra fire protection regulations.

Protection of Property Values

If you’re planning on selling your home in the future, you’ll want to make sure your patio cover project protects property values. A patio cover project can be as simple as covering an existing patio or as complex as building a full-on outdoor room. If your patio cover project is simple, it’s likely that you won’t need any permits. But if your patio cover project is more complex, you’ll need to make sure that it’s up to code and doesn’t negatively affect your property value. Before you start your patio cover project, make sure that you visit open houses in your neighborhood to get an idea of how your project will affect your property value. If you find that your project isn’t in line with the standards for your neighborhood or it negatively impacts property values, you may want to reconsider or make some modifications.

How To Get A Permit To Build A Patio Cover?

Check your local building codes

Most local zoning and planning departments have online search tools that will let you know whether you need a permit to build a patio cover. You can usually access this information by inputting your address and clicking on the “zoning” tab. Many zoning laws will specify whether a permit is required to build a patio cover, but they may also outline other restrictions, such as setback requirements, roof height, and other design factors. If you’re unsure if your government requires you to have a permit, it’s best to check before you spend money on construction. If you can’t find information about whether you need a permit to build a patio cover online, you can contact your local planning department and ask if a permit is required. You can also call your city hall and ask for the number of your local planning department.

Ask your real estate agent if a permit is required

Before you walk into your local planning department and start asking questions, you may want to ask your real estate agent whether or not a permit is required for the patio cover. Your agent should know this information and may be able to walk you through the approval process before you start applying. This can save you time and money and may even guarantee approval. If your real estate agent doesn’t know whether a permit is required, ask if he or she can get in touch with the previous owner. The previous owner may know if a permit was issued when they built the patio cover. This can also help you find out if the previous owner paid taxes on the feature, which will affect the value of the home.

Apply for an individual permit

If you don’t have a permit waiver, building plans, or a previous permit, you’ll likely have to apply for a new permit. This is the most thorough way to get permission to build a patio cover since your plans will be reviewed and approved by local authorities. To apply for a permit, you’ll need to create building plans for the patio cover and pay a fee to submit them to your local planning department. You’ll also want to find out if your county or city has a fee for building permits and if there is a due date for payment. When you’re creating your building plans for the patio cover, make sure you follow local zoning laws and other relevant building regulations. Send your plans to the planning department and ask them to critique the plans and let you know if you need to make any changes. Once your plans have been approved, you can apply for a permit.

How To Know If You Need A Permit To Build A Patio Cover?

  • If your project involves extending the roofline, adding walls, or replacing an existing wall, then you need a permit. 
  • Other factors, like your property value, may affect whether you need a permit as well. 
  • Your municipal offices should have information about permit requirements. 
  • If you don’t need a permit to build a patio cover If your project is minor and doesn’t alter the roofline, then you probably don’t need a permit.
  •  Typical examples include replacing a single shingle or window, adding a porch light, and building a freestanding BBQ pit.
  •  You may also not need a permit if your project meets one or more of these conditions: It’s temporary.
  •  You’re doing it yourself. You’re using a contractor but not altering the structure. You’re replacing a window or shingle.

When You Don’t Need A Permit To Build A Patio Cover

  • If your project is minor and doesn’t alter the roofline, you may not need a permit. 
  • Typical examples include replacing a single shingle or window, adding a porch light, and building a freestanding BBQ pit.
  •  If your project meets one or more of these conditions: It’s temporary. 
  • You’re doing it yourself. You’re using a contractor but not altering the structure. 
  • You’re replacing a window or shingle. 
  • The bottom line is that you should call your municipal offices and ask about your project.

Conclusion

If you’re replacing an existing wall, you may not need a permit. But if you’re extending the roof or adding new walls, you will. When in doubt, call your municipal offices and ask about your project. You can save yourself a lot of headaches by verifying permit requirements early in the process. Once your permit is approved, you can begin work. Let’s make sure that your project is built to last with the best materials possible.

  

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