A deck is a flat surface capable of supporting weight, similar to a floor, but typically constructed outdoors, often elevated from the ground, and usually connected to a building. Residential decks may contain spaces for cooking, dining and seating. Cooking areas ideally should be situated near the patio door while out of the way from general foot traffic. Dining spaces will include patio tables. The deck of a house is generally a wooden platform built above the ground and connected to the main building. It is generally enclosed by a railing for safety. Access may be from the house through doors and from the ground via a stairway. Residential decks can be constructed over steep areas or rough ground that is otherwise unusable. Decks can also be covered by a canopy or pergola to control sunlight.

Second story deck

Application and Supporting Documents

Permit Applications must be entered online.

Who Can Apply

  • Owner: Property Owner name must match Maryland State Assessment records or Proof of Ownership must be submitted. Proof of Ownership: Deed and Deed Recording Receipt from Clerk of the Circuit Court for Prince George's County.
  • Agent: Applicants that are not the property owner or MHIC contractor must submit the following document:
    Homeowner Improvement Authorization Letter (PDF)
  • Contractor: Must have Maryland Home Improvement Commission license.
Plans and Drawings Requirements 

Applicants must provide two copies of complete architectural/structural plans and supplemental data sheets (i.e., ICC-ES Reports), bound into sets, for all residential deck projects. Plans must be drawn to scale and be of sufficient clarity to explain the proposed construction clearly and completely.

Design Criteria

  • Floor Live Load = 40 psf
  • Seismic Category = B
  • Frost/Footing Depth = 30 inches

Required Drawings

  1. Foundation Plan (minimum scale ¼”=1’-0”): Must show all footings with dashed lines and posts with solid lines; clearly dimension the centerline locations of all footings. Provide support to footing for all stair stringers.
  2. Framing Plan (minimum scale ¼”=1’-0”): Show all framing members (posts, beams, floor joists, and stair stringers). Sizes and spacings of all framing members must be specified. Overall sizes of the deck must be shown with all column centerlines and offsets dimensioned.
  3. Cross Section (minimum scale ⅜”=1’-0”): Must be a comprehensive drawing showing the entire deck drawn from the footings up to and including the guard rail. Specify all building materials. The deck height above grade must be shown.
  4. Elevations (minimum scale ¼”=1’-0”): Views of each facade (front & sides) showing the deck in its finished condition.
  5. Lateral Bracing: Show the structural lateral bracing.
  6. Details: Clarify the guard rail posts connections; lag bolts and carriage bolts are not permitted. Include a stair detail at a minimum scale ⅜”=1’-0”.
  7. Vinyl Products: Submit the ICC-ES Reports for all proposed vinyl rails and decking.

Additional Requirements

  1. Decks must be self-supporting and freestanding and not rely upon fastening to the house for support.
  2. Posts must be attached to or embedded in the concrete footings.
  3. Footings shall be located as not to interfere with foundation drain system.
  4. 4x4 guard rail posts must not be notched. 

Processing and Reviewing Agencies

Bring 3 copies of the entered online application, necessary support documents, and required plans and drawings to the Permit Center.
Processing Review Agency Flow Chart Deck IA
Select "eplan" on the online application and upload required documents.
Minimum Fee: $115.00
Fee Calculation (if higher than minimum): $115 + Grading Fee + $5 (M–NCPPC)
All permitting fees are assessed an additional five percent (5%) Technology Fee. Fees are subject to change based on County codes.
Following agencies' approval of plans/drawings and payment of fees, a permit is issued. A permit may be revoked if issued in error. A permit may be void if construction has not started, has been suspended or discontinued.
Modifications to the permit, plans, or drawing require a Permit Revision. Permit Revision applications cannot be entered online. The revised application, plans and drawings must be submitted in the Permits Center, using the following two forms:
If approved, permits that expire or require more time to complete, may be renewed or extended by using the following form.

Inspections must be requested and conducted at least once every six months. Visit our Inspections Division pages to schedule an inspection.
If electrical service is included with the project, an Electrical Permit is required.