Decks, usually wooden platforms built above the ground and connected to a building, are generally enclosed by a railing for safety. Building Permits are required for all deck projects, and Planning review may be required.

Date Posted: November 17th, 2020 @ 4:38 PM
Last Updated: May 12th, 2022 @ 11:02 AM

When Is a Permit Required?

Deck icon graphic

Building Permits are required to construct a new deck, expand an existing one, or repair or replace one in-kind. For new decks, Planning Review is required. For decks over 30" in height from the ground to the platform or 6' from the ground to the top of the railing, Zoning regulations must be adhered to.


Decks that meet ALL of the following criteria are exempt from a Building Permit:

  • Serve a house or a duplex
  • Are 200 sq ft or less in overall footprint
  • Are not more than 30" above the ground at any point
  • Are not attached to the dwelling
  • Do not serve a required exit door
  • Do not serve as a door landing

All decks are still subject to Zoning Review.

Who Can Be Issued a Permit?

  1. Contractors who are licensed by the State of California with a classification appropriate for the work that will be performed and have a current Business Tax Certificate.
  2. Owners of a building or their legal representative.

How to Apply

Be prepared to provide the following:

Refer to the following as applicable:


Ready to get started? First, make sure you are registered and activated at our Online Permit Center. For instructions, please visit our Planning & Building Video Tutorials webpage.

STEP ONE: Planning Review (As Applicable)

For NEW decks, deck expansions or repairs/rebuilds, you must submit the following:

STEP TWO: Building Permit (As Applicable)

For decks that are NOT exempt (see list above), you must also submit the following:


Once we receive your application and have created it in our system, we will review your plans. If your plans require corrections or if we need further information, we will contact you. If your plans are approved, we will contact you to issue your permit. For the latest processing estimates, please see our Average Permit Processing Turnaround Times webpage.


Call (510) 238-3891 or find quick answers through our Permit Questions Portal. You may also schedule an appointment with Permit Counter staff during open hours.

Additional Resources