Project Guide for Decks and Other Non Enclosed Structures

This guide is intended to provide you an overview of the permitting process for a deck, porch, or other attached accessory structure that is not covered by a roof or enclosed.

For requirements on covering or enclosing your attached deck or porch, see the Project Guide for Patio Covers and the Project Guide for Patio Enclosures.

Help Me Get Started . . .

Before you start your project, you need to know what regulations apply to your property and what factors may impact your project. You'll need to consider:


Historic Landmark Status

Any project that involves changes to the exterior of landmark structures or properties in historic landmark districts must be reviewed by Landmark Preservation staff before you begin. The appropriate zoning, building, curb cut, or revocable permits needed for the project will be issued only after design review has been completed and the project has been approved. To determine your property’s landmark status, use the DevelopDENVER tool to the right. Then, visit the Design Review web page for more information.



Zoning

Zoning establishes standards for things such as the size and location of structures and acceptable uses for your property. Before you begin construction, you need to be sure your project is in compliance with the Denver Zoning Code. Use the DevelopDENVER tool to the right to determine the zoning for your property. In the results, click on your zone district for descriptions and definitions; then, click on your neighborhood context for more information on zoning in your area.



Parkways

Any project that encroaches on a designated parkway setback will need to undergo parkways review. Certain parkways and boulevards are specifically designated by ordinance to preserve their unique character. Each Designated Parkway has its own right-of-way width and regulations of setback distance of structures and signs. If you are unsure if you live along a designated parkway or for your parkway’s specific regulations, enter your address into the DevelopDENVER tool at right. Look under “Designated Parkways” on the results panel on the left. If a specific parkway appears, click on the “Details” button for information on setbacks.



Building Code

Denver Building Code provides minimum standards for building in order to safeguard public safety, health and welfare. The permitting and inspection process ensures that all home projects meet these standards and that all dwellings are safe and habitable at the time of construction.



Location of Utilities

When designing your project, you need to know where utilities are located. You cannot build over existing utilities. Before you dig, contact the Utility Notification Center of Colorado at 1-800-922-1987 or 811 to mark underground utilities for your project.


Location of Existing Sewer Lines

If you plan to build a new structure over or within 2 feet of the existing sanitary sewer, you will need to replace the sanitary sewer with approved materials. A plumbing contractor can help you locate the sewer lines on your property. Visit Wastewater Sewer Use and Drainage Permit (SUDP) for application, guidelines and other specific information. Contact the Department of Public Works at 303-446-3759 for additional details.

Listed in the order they must be obtained. All permits must be in hand and at site before work may begin.

  1. Current City of Denver Contractor’s License Affidavit of Requirements for Owner-Occupier Permits (see Issuance of Owner-Occupier Permits (PDF) for more information).
  2. Landmark Certificate of Appropriateness – if the project is in a designated historic district or landmark property. Visit the Design Review web page for more information.
  3. Parkways Review – if your property is along a designated parkway and the project encroaches on the parkway setback
    You will need: A completed Parkway Exception Request form and a site plan that includes property lines, parkway setback from property line, proposed type, location and dimensions of encroachment into parkway setback, location of existing residence on property and labeled streets. To get a copy of the form and additional information, contact parkways@denvergov.org.

The above must be in hand before you apply for the following:

  1. Zoning Permit (Residential Same Day Review)
    You will need:
    - A site plan (4 copies). Sample site plans: interior lot (PDF), corner lot (PDF). Bulk plane example (PDF)
    - Elevation plan (4 copies) with base plane information for height and bulk. 
  2. #1R Building Permit (Same Day Residential Review)
    You will need:
    - Foundation plan
    - Survey, if construction is within 3 feet of property line
    - Plan showing attachment to house
  3. Wastewater Sewer Use and Drainage Permit (SUDP) (Plan Review)
    Click link for application, guidelines and other information
    You will need a utility site plan that includes the following:
    • Location of structures in reference to property lines
    • Sewer locations
    • Pipe sizes
    • 2-way cleanouts
    • Material for all existing and proposed structures from point of connection to the structure to the main
    • Water line locations with sizes
    • All existing and proposed underground and storm water/sewage drainage
    Visit the wastewater permits page for application, complete submittal requirements and guidelines, and other information.

If the property is in a floodplain or if there is a change of use, SUDP application and materials may be submitted by email (wastewaterpermits@denvergov.org) or online via  e-Plan. If the additional space does not change the use and the property is not in a floodplain, the application may be submitted via Same Day Review at the Development Services Permit Counter (sign in online or at the kiosk for SUPD).

Zoning and #1R permits may be applied for at the counter on the same day.

Sign in online once for zoning and #1R permits (Residential Same Day Review). 

Estimate Fees
Zoning,  and Building permit fees are based on valuation of the work to be completed including the labor and materials. 

NOTE:  When a Same Day Review is required for the #1R Permit, a  "walk through" submittal fee of 20% of the valuation of the work to be completed with a $100.00 minimum will be charged in addition to building permit fees.  

For Wastewater, there is a $100 application fee plus other fees may apply.

View the permit fee schedules to estimate the fees required for your project.

There are no fees for Parkways or Landmark review.

Pay Fees
Fees can be paid in person at our cashier on the 2nd floor of the Wellington Webb Building. We accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover Card, cash and personal checks at our counter.

To pay by mail, send checks to:
Development Services
Wellington Webb Municipal Building
201 W. Colfax Ave., 2nd Floor
Denver, Colorado 80202

All approved construction set of documents, permits and inspector signature card are to be available on site upon request.

 

Typical inspections during construction of attached accessory structures not enclosed include: 

  • Footing
  • Exterior Sheathing
  • Drywall
  • Exterior Lath
  • Frame
  • Roofing
  • Underground Electrical
  • Rough Electrical
  • Final Electrical
  • Final Inspection 

 

NOTE:  The inspections listed above may vary depending on the complexity of your project. You will be advised as to which inspections your project requires through the permitting process and by your inspector.

Who Will Be Doing the Work?

Decide whether you plan to complete the project yourself or hire a licensed contractor to complete the job for you.

Do It Yourself

Do-It-YourselfYou may need to pass a Home owners exam  to demonstrate proficiency in specific trades in order to get a permit to do the work yourself. 

You will also need to meet a set of requirements established by the Denver Building Code and the Building Department Policy ADMIN 131.3 governing homeowner completed work.  This policy can be found on our Building Codes, Forms and Policies page. 

Contractor

Contractors Use the Contractor license search to see if your contractor has obtained a contractor's license from the City and County of Denver. 

 

To view other considerations, see our Doing the Work Yourself page.

Home Projects

Every project is different.  Depending upon the complexity of your project, the permit requirements and inspection process may vary from the information presented in this guide.  If you have any questions, please contact us.

DevelopDENVER

What you need to know for your project!

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