Decks & Porches

Deck Permitting Checklist
The following information is required on all deck construction drawings:

  1. Overall dimensions (length, width, height)

  2. Exact location of all footings

  3. Center to center distances between all footings

  4. Size of all footings (length, width, height)

  5. Size and spans of all girders

  6. Size, spacing, and spans for floor joist

  7. Type of decking material used

  8. Type of material to be used for flashing

  9. Attachment schedule for connection of deck/porch to house

  10. Height of hand rail/guard rail


Roofing Construction Checklist
The following information is required on all roof construction drawings:

  1. Size of support post for roof

  2. Header size for roof support

  3. Spans and point loads for headers

  4. Pitch of roof

  5. Rafter size

  6. Spacing and span for rafters

  7. All dimensions of roof decking

  8. Description of roofing material to be used. (e.g.: asphalt shingles, copper, shakes, etc.)

 
Applying for a Deck Permit

  1. Submit a completed permit application.
  2. Submit two copies of site plan showing all property lines, house location, setbacks, easements, and proposed location of deck. Improvements must be accurately drawn to scale. 
  3. Submit two copies of structural drawings. Drawings must show location of any electrical receptacles that will be installed above the finished deck. 

PLEASE NOTE: A failure to submit all of the required application materials will result in a refusal to accept your application. 


Top 10 Deck Installation Code Violations

  1. Support post not in the center third of footing

  2. Improper deck band attachment and/or ledger fastening

  3. Incorrectly flashed deck band

  4. Bottom of footings not 12” below finished grade, level, clean, and free from debris

  5. Handrail grip size exceeding maximum 3.5”

  6. Incorrect bracing for freestanding decks or attached decks with walking surfaces over four feet in height

  7. Failure to achieve proper grade at the bottom step

  8. Floor joists not fully supported by ledger

  9. Girder splices not supported over a post

  10. Point loads not extending all the way to footings (covered porches)

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a permit and inspections to build my deck?

The State of North Carolina requires permit and inspections to ensure safe construction and materials. Also, in the event you decide to sell your home, you can demonstrate to prospective buyers that your deck was properly permitted and passed all code requirements. 

Why do I need to install flashing?

When your deck or porch roof is attached to your home, a failure to properly install flashing will allow water to penetrate into your home. Moisture penetration can cause a multitude of problems, including wood rot, deck failure, mold inside your home, and other structural damage to both your home and deck. 

If I use a contractor, does the contractor need to be a licensed general contractor?

For most deck projects, a licensed general contractor is not required. However, if the cost of your deck is greater than $30,000, the general contractor must be licensed by the State of North Carolina. 

If I need electrical work done, is the electrical contractor required to have a license?

If you hire a contractor to install any electrical device, then the contractor must have a valid North Carolina Electrical license - regardless of the cost of work. 

Why do I need to install an electrical receptacle at my deck?

As of Jan. 1, 2009, the National Electrical Code requires at least one receptacle to be mounted above the walking surface of any deck. If one already exists in the required location, then you meet these requirements.

 

Tips for Hiring a Contractor

  1. Obtain at least three estimates with references.

  2. Check all references. 

  3. Before the work begins, make sure you have a written contract and a valid permit.

  4. Most reputable contractors do not require a deposit. However, a reasonable deposit is approximately 20% of the total cost of the project. The remaining balance is paid when the project is completed and has passed final inspections by the Town of Wake Forest Inspections Department. 


Things to Consider if Building a Deck Yourself

  1. Are you comfortable doing hard work?     

  2. Are you competent using hand and power tools?

  3. Are you familiar with the North Carolina Residential Code?

  4. Do you have someone to help you?

  5. Can you draw a construction plan?