Residential Decks, Porches, Patios, Pergolas, and Carports

wood deck photo by Cameron Smith on Unsplash This webpage provides general information about Denver's rules for enclosed, uncovered and covered decks, porches, patios, pergolas, and carports. Please review this information before applying for your permits.

General Rules

  • Homeowners can apply for building permits without a contractor, but will need to meet specific eligibility criteria, which is outlined on the homeowner permits webpage.
  • Non-habitable additions to your house, such as a covered and enclosed porch or sunroom, do not require a full-depth foundation, heating, or insulation if they are enclosed by walls/windows that total 65 percent glass.
  • If your project includes a new or modified driveway connection or curb cut, city transportation engineers will look at the quality of the right-of-way (sidewalks, curb ramps, and alleys) adjacent to your lot to ensure neighborhood infrastructure is safe and accessible for all residents. Please be aware that this could require you to make improvements to the public right-of-way adjacent to your lot.


Construction Permits

Uncovered decks 12” or more off the ground require a zoning permit. If they are 30” or more off the ground, they will also require a building permit. All covered structures (e.g., patios, porches, carports, and pergolas) need both a zoning and a building permit. Some decks may also require sewer use and drainage permits (SUDP). Projects that upload all of the information required for these three permit types (zoning, building, and SUDP) with their initial online application can receive a simultaneous review.

Scroll down for a list of items to upload with your application.

Trade Permits

Depending on your project, you may also need trade permits, such as electrical, plumbing, or mechanical permits, if you are adding light, heat, A/C, or water to the structure. These can be applied for at any time, and in most cases, are issued online as quick permits. Find out what qualifies as a quick permit.

How to Apply using E-permits

Apply for permits online

First-time e-permits users will need to create an online account. Once signed into e-permits, go to "Apply for a Permit" under "Development Services."

For zoning, building, and SUDP permits: When prompted to select a permit type, select "building log." 

For quick permits (electrical, mechanical, plumbing, roofing): When prompted, select the appropriate permit type under "Quick Permits" and follow the prompts.

What to Upload with Your Application

Please upload these documents with your online application to receive building, zoning, and SUDP permits. 

Site Plan

Please draw the site plan to scale and include the scale and a north arrow on the plan. Please also include labels and dimensions for...

  • all zone lot lines (e.g., primary, side, rear)
  • adjacent streets and alleys
  • all existing structures and driveways already on the property
  • the proposed new structure (include proposed height)
  • distances from the proposed new structure to existing structures, lot lines, etc.
  • if a new driveway is proposed, please also include the location of the proposed driveways, dimensions from the driveway to the property line and any adjacent driveways, width of driveway, and material used in construction

For SUDP, please also include the size, type, and location of water, storm sewer, and sanitary sewer lines on your site plan.

Building Elevations with Dimensions

Please use the template provided below or submit scaled drawings.

Building Plans, Details, and Specifications

For covered and enclosed projects, clearly show the following:

  • Connection to home
  • Roof covering and underlayment
  • Rafter/truss size and spacing
  • Roof span
  • Foundation/slab details
  • Beam size and span
  • Post size and specifications
  • Connector description and location
  • Percent of glazing
  • Stud size and spacing
  • Wall and roof sheathing
  • Exterior wall covering

For uncovered projects, clearly show the following:

  • Rafter size and spacing
  • Beam size and span
  • Uplift connection
  • Post size and specifications
  • Footing size and depth
  • Ledger connection details
  • Roll blocking size and location for cantilevered deck
  • Decking size and type
  • Stair details
  • Guard and handrail details
  • Cantilever length

View sample plans

Special Situations

Landmarks and Historic Districts

Projects that are located in a historic district or a designated landmark will require a certificate of appropriateness, meaning the project's design has been reviewed by Landmark Preservation and is appropriate for the historic nature of the property. It is highly recommended that you obtain this certificate before applying for building and zoning permits.

Learn about design guidelines for landmark properties.


If your property is along a designated parkway and the project encroaches on the parkway setback, you will need to download an Exception Request form and email it to

Floodplains and Sewer Lines

If your property is in a floodplain or if you are digging within two feet of the sewer line, a sewer use and drainage permit (SUDP) may be required.


If your project will impact the canopy or roots of trees located in the public right-of-way, you will need to contact the Office of the City Forester at 720-913-0651 or Learn more about forestry requirements

CDOT/State Highways

If the proposed driveway connects to a State Highway, CDOT access permits and a Transportation Engineering Plan are required. Learn more about CDOT access permits.

Research your property