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Planning > Permit

When is a permit required?

Whenever the deck is attached to the house, generally.
Whenever the deck is higher than 30" above grade, generally

How much does a permit cost?

Cities use different formulas for determining the cost of a permit.
I have paid as little as $60 and as much as $550.
Some suburbs farm out the inspection process to a 3rd party; these cities are among the most expensive.

Is the permit cost included in the bid?

Since I don't know what the permit cost will be, I do not include it on the bid. Sometimes I am able to estimate it and provide that number on the bid, but the final payment will include the actual permit cost.

Who is responsible for getting the permit?

Sometimes homeowners get their own permits, but in that case they become the general contractor. It is best to allow me to get the permit for the work I intend to do. In all cases, final payment is not dependent on final inspection and approval by the city, because there may be extra items outside the scope of my bid that prevent passing an inspection, such as the requirement that stairs be lighted to a certain level, and the height of the bottom step of stairs when landscaping is planned after the deck is built (such as a patio or pavers), and where the height of a deck without a railing is over 30" but landscaping or grading is planned to alter that after completion of the deck. Payment is due upon completion, and if the final inspection finds items that need to be corrected, the city will require me to do that work, so you are protected either way.