To Permit or Not Permit, That is the Question...

Making the decision to add an outdoor living structure to your Macon or Warner Robins-area home can be a great experience. Not only are you excited about getting your new deck or porch, you are likely also concerned about all the logistics that come into play in bringing your project to completion.

Here at Archadeck of Central GA, one of the most frequently asked questions is will my project require a permit? The answer to this question is usually not as simple as yes or no, however, as the building codes and requirements for each county and city within our service area vary.

Central GA Deck & Porch Building Codes

Building codes are essential for knowing what type of outdoor structures require a permit, how to submit a proper building plan to get a permit, what points during construction require an inspection, and the specifics of how to build a safe deck or porch. Knowing the building codes may sound simple until you begin to do your research. This is because county and state building codes differ. That’s right, the same codes that are required to build a deck or porch in Macon may differ greatly than those required in the city of Warner Robins, Houston County, or Monroe County


— Custom screened porch in Kathleen, GA, by Archadeck of Central GA.

Just to prove the complexity of required building codes try a Google search for your local deck and porch building codes. What did you find? Was it difficult to navigate your area’s website? Did you find deck and porch building codes specifically or just a very long set of residential building codes that only mentioned a deck or porch once, or not at all? Most likely, you may have found the permitting information, but not the detailed instructions about codes or requirements.

If you do find your city’s deck building codes, you will likely find out that they are long and cumbersome and require the knowledge and experience of a licensed builder in order to understand. You’ll also find out that you may need one, two, three, or more inspections during the building process. The first inspection will be after your footings are dug, but before concrete is poured. The second inspection will be of the framing and lastly, you’ll have a final inspection. Some inspectors may require additional inspections of items such as electrical or plumbing, too!

The Bottom Line

Most construction projects do require permitting. Archdeck of Central GA will certainly obtain the proper permits as required by law. If you forgo the permitting process, you could be fined, your homeowners’ insurance may be compromised, and you may be unable to sell your house until permitting requirements are satisfied. Furthermore, if you have unresolvable issues with your contractor you may be unable to receive help from the courts because you chose to proceed without the legally required permits. Keep in mind all of these requirements are in place to protect. you, the homeowner.


— Look at these improperly installed deck footings, definitely not built according to code and very unsafe!

Additionally, just as we mentioned, each town or municipality varies in their building requirements. And some elements of your deck or porch construction are dictated by the zoning district where your home is located. Together they will provide the following specific requirements:

• Setback requirements: How far from the property line decks need to be.
• Footing depth.
• Materials: Certain materials require specific hardware for safety.
• Column and post size and construction requirements.
• Railings.
• Stairways and handrails.
• The various requirements around utility meters and lines.
• Deck and porch load strength: how much weight it can hold.
• Roof tie-in requirements.
• Easements and impervious requirements such as water runoff

The bottom line is Archadeck of Central GA handles all permits and inspections when you contract with us for your outdoor living project. We are well versed and knowledgable in all the local deck and porch building codes and requirements. We stay up-to-the-minute with any changes to the codes and have long-standing relationships with many of the local building inspectors. The hassle of permits, inspections, and building codes is one of the best reasons to hire a professional deck and porch contractor like us. Let us focus on meeting and exceeding codes for the safety and quality of your new outdoor structure so you can focus your excitement on enjoying it!

Let us handle the building codes, permitting and requirements for your outdoor living project. Call today to schedule a design consultation at 478-745-2000 or via email at [email protected].


Stephen Denton, owner Archadeck of Central Georgia.

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