Decks and permits

Old 11-11-09, 07:42 AM
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Angry Decks and permits

I am an owner builder that is currently trying to find out if I need a permit to build a free standing deck in Imperial County in California. I am dealing with an uncoroperative Planner and I have done searches to no avail. Any help...
Old 11-11-09, 08:20 AM
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Well...surprisingly I don't see it on their list at the county site, but I find it very hard to believe they don't. I see fences and spas listed..but not decks...odd.

There are a couple of left coast folks on here..give them time to reply.

Ahhh I do see they they have do have a fee mentioned for decks....see page 13 of this
Old 11-11-09, 12:13 PM
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Here, a permit is needed if the deck is going to be more than 18" off the ground. Ask a local arhitect for a straight answer.
Old 11-11-09, 12:32 PM
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We have a similar permit requirement here. It is based on how high the deck is off the ground.

I don't understand why the building office won't answer. In my small town even the secretary knows what work requires a permit.

IIWM My first call would be to the building office or whomever issues the permits. If I didn't get a straight answer there my second call would be to whatever local politician the building official answers to.
Old 11-11-09, 01:45 PM
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More than likely it will require a permit. Simply call the local bldg. dept. and ask. That's not a question that the planner will even get involved in. Make sure that you tell them what the highest point above grade will be. Some jurisdictions in CA used to exempt any deck less than 30" above grade from needing a permit. But when they adopted the IRC that pretty much ended that exemption.

The bldg. dept. probably has free handouts that will show you footing sizes, required connectors, spans of the framing members, etc. that you can use to draw the plans for your deck. Then it's just a simple plot plan showing where the prposed deck will be to go in with that and your application.
Old 11-11-09, 02:45 PM
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Ours is based on the footprint of the residence. If you change the footprint, you need a permit. You can replace an existing one, but it can't be larger. Why replace it if you don't go BIGGER??!!

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