If you’re a homeowner in Texas who is looking to build a deck or any other structure on your property, then you’ll need to be aware of the regulations and requirements that come with it. In this guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about decks and building permits in Texas – from the types of permits needed to the steps involved in obtaining one. Get ready to learn all about decks and permits in Texas!

Introduction to Permits for Building a Deck in Texas

Installing a deck is a great way to improve your home’s value and add extra living space. But before you start, there are a few things you need to know about building a deck in Texas.

You will need a permit to build a deck if it is attached to your house or any other structure. If your deck is not attached to your house, you may still need a permit depending on the size and location of your deck.

To get a permit, you will need to submit an application to your local building department. You will also need to have your plans drawn up by a licensed engineer or architect. Once you have submitted your application and plans, the building department will review them and determine if you need a permit.

If you do need a permit, the building department will issue you one. You will then be able to begin construction on your deck. Be sure to follow all the requirements for permits and construction so that your deck is safe and up to code.

Steps to Build a Perfect Deck

To make the deck of your dreams, there are certain steps to take to make sure that the deck is exactly to your liking and how you imagined it. Also, if you are doing a deck in Austin, Texas, you need a permit for the deck to be able to stay on your property and not be torn down. Nevertheless, having a permit required is not the only step for getting your deck installed. Here are some other steps to consider when doing a plan for a deck.

1. Plan ahead: Before you start building your deck, it’s important to plan ahead and determine what size and shape you want your deck to be. You’ll also need to consider where your deck will be located in your yard and make sure you have the necessary space for it.

2. Get a permit: In Texas, you need to fill out a building permit application from your local building department before starting any construction on your property, including building a deck. This permit ensures that your deck meets all the required safety standards.

3. Choose the right materials: When choosing materials for your deck, it’s important to pick ones that are durable and will withstand the elements. Pressure-treated lumber is a good option for decks because it’s rot-resistant and termite-resistant.

4. Hire a professional: While it’s possible to build a deck yourself, it’s often best to hire a professional contractor who has experience with this type of project. They can help you with everything from the initial planning stages to the actual construction of your deck.

When is a Permit for Building a Deck Required

There are a few things to keep in mind when deciding if you need a permit for your deck. First, the purpose of the deck will play a role in whether or not you need a permit. If you’re only looking to build a small, free-standing deck that isn’t attached to your home, then chances are you won’t need a permit.

However, if you’re planning on building a large deck that will be attached to your home, or if you’re planning on making any structural changes to your existing deck, then you will likely need to obtain a permit from your local municipality.

In addition to the purpose of the deck, another factor that will come into play is the size of the deck. In general, decks that are less than 200 square feet do not require a permit. However, this number can vary depending on your municipality, so it’s always best to check with your local building department before beginning any construction.

Depending on what you want to do in your backyard, and how big you want your new deck to be will determine whether you need permits or not. Here is a broad outline for various situations and sizes:

  • Decks under 200 feet and/or 30 inches tall do not require authorizations or permits.
  • Decks over 200 square feet but under 1000 square feet are considered a general repair, thus you must apply for a general repair permit with the authorities.
  • Decks bigger than 1000 square feet are considered an extension to the home and require a permit, so you’ll need to apply for one.

In order to begin work on general repairs for a new building, you must have evidence of ownership and access to the site plan. You could obtain a building permit for decks under 300 square feet straight away at the neighborhood building permit issuance office. However, you will need to provide building designs for more intricate new home development and wait until a thorough plan evaluation is complete before beginning work.
Every city has zoning districts and laws that set it apart. For instance, if you live in a flood zone, the Department of Developmental Services will probably need to assess your building design and the Public Works department would be required to approve it.

What is the Process for Obtaining a Building Permit for a Deck

Although it does take some preparation, applying for a deck permit is a rather simple procedure. In order to apply for a construction permit, you must first find out who issues them in your neighborhood and where to go. Most cities have their own Building Inspections Departments, which are usually housed within City Hall.
If you live in a remote area, there may be a self-governing inspector that oversees a large area. You should be able to get the information you need by searching online or making a few calls to the local government agencies.

You’ll need the following to apply for a deck permit:

  1. A completed application
  2. 2 sets of building plans
  3. Site Plans
  4. A copy of the contractor’s license
  5. Payment of the construction permit charge

Here is a general description of how the permission procedure works:

  • Zoning – Using this step, you may check if the land where your house is located is zoned for residential use.
  • Applying for a permit – This might entail either general repair permission or a new residential building permit, depending on the size of your deck.
  • Review of Permit – Prior to applying for a new home construction permit, you must wait for the review of your building plans. This procedure might take up to 24 days.
  • Inspection: An inspection is necessary at every stage of construction and is covered by the fee for your permit application.
  • Utility Release – Depending on the size and scope of your project, CPS may need to assess it before enabling access to utilities and power.

Different Types of Materials Used for the Construction of Decks in Austin, Texas

There are a few different types of materials you can use to build your deck. The most popular type of material is wood, but there are also options for composite and PVC. Each type of material has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to choose the right one for your specific needs.

Wood: Wood is the most popular choice for decks because it’s affordable and easy to work with. There are a variety of woods you can choose from, including cedar, redwood, and pressure-treated lumber. Wood decks require more maintenance than other types of decks, but they can be stained or painted to match your home’s exterior.

Composite: Composite decking is made from a mix of wood fibers and plastic. It looks like wood but is more durable and requires less maintenance. Composite decks can be more expensive than wood decks, but they usually come with a warranty.

PVC: PVC decks are made from 100% plastic and are very low-maintenance. They’re also stain-resistant and won’t fade in the sun. PVC decks can be more expensive than other types of decks, but they require little to no upkeep.

Reasons Your Deck Permit May Be Rejected

A deck permit may be rejected for a variety of reasons. A typical issue in the blueprints is a lack of detail displaying all of the essential hardware to ensure deck railing posts meet or exceed standards. For the spans specified in the drawings, deck joists could be too small. The size of the beams may not be adequate to support the weight of the deck.

To prevent collapse during an earthquake, decks constructed in seismic zones need to include a variety of technical measures. Be prepared for your permit to be refused if your designs lack this crucial engineering.

A smart move would be to see with your local plan examiner if they have a list of the most common errors before you begin to draft your plans. That way, you can make sure to pay close attention to all the possible reasons why your permit would be rejected, to counteract them in the early planning stages.


Building a deck in Texas will not only increase the value of your home but also make the Texas heat more bearable. However, it is important to know the necessary requirements for obtaining a permit before you start planning the build. By following the laws and regulations of your city or county, you can ensure that your deck meets all safety standards and does not cause any legal issues down the line. With Texas Deck Builders, you are sure to have an enjoyable outdoors project that also abides by all local laws.

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