Thursday, December 1, 2022
HomePatioDo I Need A Permit To Build A Pergola

Do I Need A Permit To Build A Pergola

Hiring A Professional Company

Do I Need a Permit to Build a Patio Cover or Pergola?

Being your own handyman can very likely save you money by doing all the work on your own. But it may take you longer and actually more money long-term compared to hiring a professional construction or renovation company. After all, a professional firm already has all the tools they need to complete your custom pergola on schedule and just the way you want it.

Number Of Stalls Required

Most properties require one parking space per dwelling unit, unless your property falls into one of the categories below. If you are unsure of your land use district, please enter your address into the property information bar. If your land use district is not noted below, then you require one stall per dwelling.

Two stalls per dwelling are required when located in:

  • R-C1N or R-1N and the parcel width is less than 9 m .
  • R-C2 or R-2 and the parcel width is less than 9 m or the parcel area is less than 270 m2 .

Two stalls per parcel are required when located in:


  • R-2M and the parcel width is less than 9 m or the parcel area is less than 270 m2 .

If your property is an irregular shape and you are unsure of your parcel width, please refer to the example below to see how to measure your parcel width and determine how many parking stalls are required.

Parking requirements can be met with a parking pad, driveway or a garage. The required parking stalls must not be located one in front of the other.

Note: many properties in Calgary were developed prior to the current bylaw and its parking requirements. There is also the potential that relaxations for parking were granted on an individual property. In these cases, the current parking requirements may not have to be met.

Types Of Permits You May Need When Building A Pergola

If you do need a permit, city and state regulations will determine which materials you can use or avoid. They will also cover structural integrity rules and give you minimum construction standards to follow. The purpose of these permits is to make sure projects are completed safely, especially if theyre of greater risk than others.

Depending on your city and state, you may need more than one permit. Two commonly required permits when building a pergola are a planning permit and a building permit.


Recommended Reading: Patio Window Covering

Determine If There Are Rules On Pergola Kits

Pergola kits are an efficient way of building your pergola. A pergola kit includes precut, notched, and drilled pieces of wood, vinyl, or other material, and the required hardware for assembly. Some kits include prestained wood, while others require you to stain the wood before assembling the pergola.

Sometimes city officials prefer pergola kits instead of building the pergola from scratch for safety and construction quality concerns. If you dont use a pergola kit, some states may require a licensed contractor or a construction test.

Attached Or Freestanding Pergola: Different Permitting Requirements

Do I need a permit to build a pergola? (Answered)

Building codes dictate what is necessary to ensure a structure is correctly supported. For example, if you are installing a pergola attached to your house, the two support posts can sometimes be attached to existing concrete footings. However, building regulations typically require digging new concrete footings for a freestanding pergola to ensure stability. The local requirements for the depth and dimension of these footings will vary as well, for instance in coastal areas susceptible to high winds.

You May Like: Removing Patio Door


Enquiring About Exemptions And Guidelines

When talking to your local council, ask them about the exemptions that exist for decks and pergolas – that is, conditions under which a permit is not required. If it’s only a matter of some basic adjustments to your original intentions, you may be able to tailor your construction to these guidelines. If you are able to construct without a permit or only need to make some minor cosmetic adjustments to fall outside the permit criteria, then you can save yourself some money and time.

Know The Pergola Permit Requirements For Your City Or Town

When it comes to building codes, a rule of thumb is to follow the most local-to-you requirements because they incorporate state-level rules. If your city or town has no specific code, you should follow your county or state permitting requirements. In most locations, the local building official will have the final say on your plan and permit approvals. The local building department will likely have a checklist of the various local agencies/officials that need to sign off on a project in your neighborhood. In some places that could include environmental checks or historic preservation regulations.

Read Also: How To Level Ground For Patio Pavers

Height Of Pergola Deck Matters For Permits

The height of the deck matters for pergolas permits.

Not have a finished floor higher than 0.6m above grade, unless it is a private garage. For example, a pergola on a deck that is higher than 0.6 m , would not meet by-law.

City of Calgary

Most by-laws are in place to create uniformity in neighbourhoods. These is especially true with pergolas. A tall pergola on top of a high deck will tower over its neighbours. Your house has height restriction, so does pergolas. Pergola in Calgary can only be built on ground level decks or patios.


Are There Any Patio Coverings That Do Not Require A Permit

DIY Deck (Part 4): How to avoid getting a deck building permit even with Pergola?

Patio coverings, such as umbrellas and instant canopies, are not subject to building codes because they are not permanent structures. However, permanent outdoor structures, including most pergolas, do require building permits. While we cannot speak for other pergola manufacturers, we offer one solution that may not require a building permit.

The Azenco K-Bana is a fully-customizable modular cabana structure. It allows you to create a flexible outdoor escape for your deck, patio or not-so-level surfaces like a yard. The K-Bana includes self-leveling footings that adjust to the uneven ground. Because it does not need in-ground footings, the K-Bana can mitigate the need for a large scale permitting process. Be sure to check your state, county, and citys building and zoning requirements before moving forward with any outdoor structure project. You may find that that the K-Bana from Azenco is an exception to your local building permit rules.

Don’t Miss: How To Keep Patio Furniture From Blowing Away

Soil Tests Requirements For Pergola Footings

Yes, a permanent structure like a pergola needs footings. Especially if it bigger than the 10 m2 common pergola permit threshold. Regardless of soil types, concrete footing needs to be below the frost line.

The main thing to keep in mind is to get the poles below the frost line.

Mike Holmes

Soil test requirements for pergola will often be the same as for your deck footings. If your city requires soil tests for deck footings, they will require tests for pergola footings. Again, in Calgary, where I build pergolas, a soil test is not required, but a standard footing depth and size are. At least for smaller pergolas, increasing the size and weight of the pergola will require larger footings. Not so much based on soil test but engineering and bearing weight.


Permits For Building A Pergola

Image source: Ben Quie & Sons

These designs differ in shapes and sizes for Pergolas about the function you intended to represent. Also regarded as an architectural greenhouse. Its an open, no-roof structure. Of course, pergolas are more significant than the minimum required to require a building permit to begin construction.

The Pergola should be a different building, not attached to the main house because if you intend to connect one end of the wall to the Pergola, you will require a permit.

There are different criteria for any state and city. These guidelines apply to subject matter such as components to be used or prevented, structural stability, and, where applicable, minimum building conditions.

The cities and counties sometimes lay down their authorization laws. However, they can be stricter than the State code local jurisdictions cannot loosen the rules. You can follow the town-specific directions if you are in a community that has its license standard! If your town does not have a particular code, you must comply with your countys permit requirements.


Get your free ebook!

Thank you!

One more step is needed. Please check your inbox for the newsletter confirmation email.

You May Like: Replacement Straps For Lawn Chairs

State Vs County Vs City Requirements

One of the most common areas of confusion when it comes to patio cover permits relates to managing multiple jurisdictions. There are state codes, county codes and city codeswhich one do you follow? The short answer: the most local requirement. State building codes are usually the most general. They set the standard for minimum safety requirements. Cities and counties often establish their own permitting rules, but those requirements can only be more stringent than state code local municipalities are never allowed to loosen the rules. If youre within a city that has its own permit standard, you must follow your city-specific rules. If your city has no specific code, then you must adhere to county permitting requirements.

A good rule of thumb is to look for city requirements. If you find none, then review your countys rules. If again you come up with nothing, default to the state requirements.

Whats In A Building Code For A Patio Cover Or Pergola

Do I Need a Permit to Install a Pergola?

Local building codes will define the structural requirements for a pergola, often setting maximums or minimums for the most common aspects of a pergola:


  • Many city codes limit the highest point of a patio structure, often limiting it to no higher than 12 feet above the ground .
  • Diameter, distance, and depth: Regulations often include details regarding the distance between the pergola beams, the distance between the posts, the depth of the foundation, and the diameter of the posts. These metrics can also be impacted by local requirements for storm resistance of outdoor structures.

You May Like: Poured Concrete Patio Estimate

Do I Need A Permit To Build A Pergola

Article By Lou E Green

Take this short survey and get a free pergola plan.

One of the first questions asked about building a pergola is whether or not a pergola permit is needed.

Pergolas are open structures with an open covering that is not considered a complete roof. They do not alter your homes structure. Their posts do not penetrate deep into the ground if they are not secured above ground. They are usually located in the back or side yard, with front yard versions that are smaller and placed over a front entrance gate. Therefore, a pergola does not usually require a building permit. However, we cannot offer legal advice, and every state & city has different requirements so please check with your local laws, building codes, and zoning rules prior to construction.

Said this, every state and city have different requirements. These regulations are related to things such as materials to use or avoid, structural integrity and, in some cases, minimum construction standards to follow. Please check with your local authorities any applicable laws, building codes, and zoning rules prior to construction.

Possible Kind of Permits Required

Depending on the state and city, you may need to have more than one permission.

First, you may need a planning permit. This one usually covers aesthetic aspects and boundary regulations that need to be revised before starting to make any actual building at home.

But, why a permit?

Homeowners Associations

Designed by Freepik

Designed by Freepik

Yes A Permit Is Required For Patio Covers

First and foremost, you do need a permit to install a new pergola in your yard. Like all home improvement projects, the permitting process aims make sure that construction is safe and stable. It might be tempting to try to get away with not obtaining the correct permit, but you should never cut corners. Lack of a permit will come back to haunt you in serious ways when youre ready to sell your house or, worse, if your pergolas structure fails.

Recommended Reading: How To Level Ground For Patio Pavers

Do I Need A Council Permit For A Deck Or Pergola

When it comes time to building your deck or pergola, you will first need to make sure that you have approval from your local council. Though you may be advised by friends or family that a permit is not required, it wont be them paying the fine or having to remove the structure if it turns out that you do.

All councils will have their own sets of regulations regarding decks, pergolas and other house extensions. These regulations cover things like structural integrity, what materials you can use and minimum construction standards that must be met.

How Big Of A Shed Can I Build Without A Permit In San Diego

How to Build a Pergola Attached to Your House | Mitre 10 Easy As DIY

One-story detached accessory buildings including sea cargo containers used as non-habitable space such as tool or storage sheds, playhouses, agricultural buildings and similar uses provided the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet and no plumbing, electrical or mechanical permit is required for the structure.

You May Like: How To Build Patio Steps Using Pavers

What Is A Pergola

A pergola is an outdoor, wooden structure with columns supporting a grid of beams and rafters. Youll often find pergolas in backyards.

The often flat grid can be covered or left open and the structure may be freestanding or attached to the house. The addition of a pergola can completely transform an outdoor space.

Why Might I Need A Permit To Build A Pergola

You need permits to prevent safety issues in the future. While installing a pergola may not seem like a public hazard, building anything can be dangerous and shouldnt be taken lightly. Always check with the appropriate authorities before you start building, as you may not be aware of certain regulations.

When building a pergola, another entity you should keep in mind is the homeowners association . Your HOA will need to give you clearance to build any structure in your neighborhood, including a pergola. HOA rules often govern the building of a fence or structure and they are particular about protecting the property owners views.

Also Check: How To Make A Patio Awning

When To Hire A Contractor For Your Pergola Project

If you find researching your areas building regulations a hassle, consider hiring a licensed contractor. A contractor will be able to help ensure your installation follows the building regulations. He will also obtain the appropriate planning and building permits. Beyond the intricacies of the permitting process, a qualified dealer will ensure your pergola is idIf you find researching your areas building regulations a hassle, consider hiring a reputable licensed contractor who will do the work for you. A contractor will be able to help ensure your installation follows the building regulations and obtain the appropriate planning and building permits. Beyond the intricacies of the permitting process, a qualified local dealer will also ensure your pergola is ideally suited to your home. For instance, they will have the experience to make sure the louvered roof opens in the ideal direction so when you open the roof you see the sun or stars rather than the wall of your home.

Attached Or Freestanding: Different Requirements For Each

Do I Need a Permit for a Pergola?

If your patio cover is attached to a house or structure, in most cases, you can often attach posts to existing concrete footings. However, if you plan to install a freestanding pergola, the code requires you to dig concrete footings to ensure stable support. You wont be able to attach your posts directly to an existing concrete slab.

Read Also: How To Hang Lights Under Deck

Do I Need A Permit To Build A Pergola In California

4.7/5Building a pergolapergolas dorequire permits to buildcaread more on it

Detached shade structures when the height above grade does not exceed 12 feet. Electrical, plumbing or mechanical equipment contained within the structure shall require a permit.

Also Know, do pergolas need council approval? No planning approval is required for a pergola. Pergolas need a building permit when the structure exceeds 20m2. A permit is not required for a pergola that is less than 20m2 and less than 2.4m in height unless there is already an existing pergola on the property.

Also to know is, what happens if you build without a permit in California?

Failure to obtain a building permit is a violation of Contractors License Law. Further, construction performed without a permit can expose a homeowner to additional liability and costs.

Do I need a permit to build a roof over my patio?

Yes, you need a permit to build or replace a , add a roof over a or patio, or build a season room onto an existing .

How Long Will It Take To Get A Permit

To avoid delays, make sure your application includes all the required documents, plans and information listed on the Garage, shed, gazebo and similar structures – Permit Checklist.

Planning Approval – Development Permit Our process
Proposed structures that do not meet all rules of Land Use Bylaw 1P2007
  • Our process: 60 days to decision
Our commitment: 10 – 12 weeks
Review our Development Permit Process page for more information about the planning approval process.
Building Safety Approval – Building Permit Timeline
  • New carport, shed, greenhouse, or pergola
  • Renovation to an existing garage, shed, greenhouse, or pergola
7 days

Don’t Miss: Antique Lawn Furniture

Timeframe To Obtain A Building Permit

The City will issue building permits promptly for submissions that meet zoning standards, the Ontario Building Code, and the requirements of other agencies, such as the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, or the Region of Durham Health Department . The more complete the permit submission is, the quicker we are able to review the application for compliance and issue the permit. Once the permit is submitted, the Building Clerk will give you an honest estimate of time to issue the permit.

Once the Building Permit is issued, construction may start any time within 6 months from the date of issue. Construction should never start before the Building Permit is issued.


RELATED ARTICLES

Most Popular