Patio & Decks


Building Permit applications are to be completed online. Please go to Online Permit Applications; enter the information directly into the Permitting System; and print three (3) copies of the computer-generated Application prior to visiting the Permits Center. (Printers are NOT available onsite for customers.)


The following plans are required when applying for a Patio Permit:
  • Three (3) Site/Plot plans indicating the location
  • Three (3) Structural plans

Patio & Deck Construction

Patios and decks are similar, and both are considered as open-air leisure areas. These structures are generally differentiated from one another based upon construction materials. Those built from brick, block, stone or concrete (masonry) are classified as patios, and those built from lumber are designated as decks.

Patios are usually built at grade with a finished height that does not exceed six inches. For construction of a patio built at existing grade (and less than 500 square feet), a permits is not required for construction. If the lot is served by a private well and/or septic, an at-grade patio must be reviewed by the Quality and Septic Systems Program to ensure that access for septic tank maintenance is provided.

Decks are generally elevated structures. A Building Permit is required for construction of a deck. Decks near septic systems should be designed so that footers or other support structures do not damage septic system plumbing or prevent pumping access to septic tank clean-outs.

Building Permit Requirements

If you intend to construct a patio over 500 sq. ft. or a deck, a Building Permit is required, and site plans showing the existing and proposed structure location(s), including well and/or septic (if applicable), must be submitted. Structural plans also are required.
If non-wood decking material is going to be used, the applicant must obtain notice from the place of purchase that the decking material is approved by the International Code Council (ICC).
If the home is located in a subdivision with a Homeowner’s Association (HOA), a separate approval from the HOA may be necessary. Unless erected by the homeowner, all home improvement projects require that a licensed contractor by the Maryland Home Improvement Commission is used.

Please go to general specifications for building a deck.