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Deck Requirements

In order to apply for a building permit to build a deck you will need to be either a licensed state residential contractor or the property owner with intent to occupy the home. See our deck handout.

A building permit is required for any deck that is attached or adjacent to a building, and is 30 inches or more above grade. For decks not attached or adjacent to buildings and are 30 inches or less above grade a Zoning Permit is required. A complete application includes:
  1. A signed, completed building permit application form.
  2. Two copies of a certificate of survey or site plan drawn to scale, indicating the lot dimensions, setbacks to property lines, and location and area of the existing and proposed structures.
  3. Two copies of plans drawn to scale, including the following information:
    • Size and depth of footing
    • Size and spacing of post
    • Type of lumber
    • Size of beams
    • Size and spacing of joists
    • Type of floor boards
    • Height of deck off ground
    • Height and design of guard rail/handrail
    • Size of deck
    • Distance to property lines
  4. Sizing deck joists, Beams, & Footings

Inspections Needed

  1. Call for a footing inspection after holes are dug but before pouring concrete.
  2. Rough-in framing if floor joists/beams are not accessible after decking.
  3. Final inspection when deck is complete.
  4. Before digging, call the Gopher State One Call excavation notification center at 1-800-252-1166 or 1-651-454-0002 to locate utilities. All utilities (gas, electric, phone, cable TV, etc.) will be located free of charge.

Zoning Requirements


Front Rear Side ** Corner Lot Side
R-1 District 40 30 10/25 40
R-2 District 40 30 5/15 40
Detached Structures Behind Principal Structure 10 10 Behind Principal Structure
*Setbacks are measured from the property line, not the curb
** (Minimum setback/total of both sideyards combined)

Setback Exception
Decks and steps may extend six (6) feet into the required front, side, and rear setbacks.  In the R-1 District these encroachments shall not be less than six (6) feet from any lot line.  In the R-2 and R-3 Districts, decks and steps shall not be less than three (3) feet away from any lot line.

Building Specifications

Frost Footings
Footings must be sized for the loads they support. Minimum size of a footings shall be at lease 42 inches deep and 8 inches in diameter and flared to 14 inches at the bottom. (Note: 8-inch diameter footings may not be adequate for future porch additions.)

Required Wood
All wooden members of decks that are exposed to the weather, must be treated or of rot resistant wood (i.e. redwood or cedar). Alternate materials, such as plastic decking must have a special testing report approved by the City.

Framing Details
Deck ledger boards must be bolted to the house. Joist hangers are required wherever joists do not have at least 1 ½ inches of bearing. Joist hangers require one nail per hole. Use only stainless steel, high strength aluminum or hot dipped galvanized fasteners approved for the treated wood used.

Overhanging Joists and Beams (Cantilevers)
Joists should not overhang beams by more than two feet, nor should beams overhang posts by more than one foot unless a special design is approved.

All connections between deck and dwelling must be flashed and watertight. Any cuts in exterior finish must be flashed.

Rob Ward
Residential Inspector
Ph: 651-792-7813

Britt Pease
Office Support Specialist
Ph: 651-792-7831