Renovating your backyard requires staying on top of the required plans, expenses, and permits. So, do you need a building permit for a concrete patio, or can you go ahead with the project without getting one?
The answer depends on the type of concrete patio you’re building among other factors. Some states allow you to build a concrete paver patio without a permit but not a concrete slab.
In other cases, the height, width, and amenities of the patio determine whether you need a permit or not.
Since these requirements differ from one region to the other, you’ll need to check with the county’s building code. That said, here are some considerations before you take on the patio project.
Do I Need a Building Permit for a Concrete Patio?
Needing a permit to start your patio project depends on several factors that include:
The Type of Concrete
Concrete patios are either made of concrete paver bricks or a slab of poured concrete mix. This might seem like a small technical distinction, but in the eyes of the law, the difference is huge.
If you’re building the patio using concrete pavers, sand, and gravel with no mortar, then this can’t be classified as a permanent structure. The patio can be taken apart without heavy equipment since there’s no curing involved, so in this case, you don’t need a permit in most counties.
Pouring a concrete slab requires a concrete mixer and usually involves contractor work. It’s also considered a permanent structure since you can’t just move the slab once it’s done.
In this case, you have to get a permit from your local municipality or county office before starting the project. And if you hire a contractor, make sure they’re fully licensed and have the required permit on their end.
The Patio’s Height
Not all patios are created equal. Some are small and are more of a walkway, while others can extend on a high grade and are multiple feet across.
In some areas, building a patio on grade and up to 30 inches high doesn’t require a permit. Once you cross that height, you have to get a permit before you start building.
If you plan on making your patio walled or roofed, or adding electric lights to it, then you have to get a permit before you start construction. This is done to make sure the building is up to code and won’t endanger the residents or anyone else passing by the structure.
What Are Other Required Permits for Building on My Property?
Building on your property, depending on the structure you’re going for, might require several types of permits:
This permit defines the particular use of a piece of land or structure and only allows its use for the defined purpose.
This permit is required when you’re digging on a road right-of-way. Your contractor might need to have one before they start working on your patio if there’s a risk of running into any utility piping or cable lines.
This permit is required if you’re building any structure higher than 30 inches above grade on your property. If you’re building a shed, wall, or a columned structure, you should always obtain this permit beforehand.
What Would Happen If I Build a Concrete Patio Without a Permit?
Depending on the area you live in, you might face consequences that range from:
- Paying a fine.
- Halting construction until you obtain the required permits.
- Tearing down the structure you already built if it’s not up to code and paying a fine for starting construction without a permit.
- Getting insurance claims denied if the structure causes any accidents.
- Bringing down the value of your home if you’re trying to sell it.
Do I need a building permit for a concrete patio?
In most cases, you do. Thankfully, the process of asking whether your county requires a permit is super easy. All you need to do is hop onto the county website and search for building permit requirements for a concrete patio and you’re good to go.
Failing to do so can subject you to several unpleasant outcomes that would cost you more money and effort than building a concrete patio up to code in the first place.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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