Patios and decks are similar in that they are both open-air leisure areas. These structures are generally differentiated from one another based upon construction materials. Those built from brick, block, stone or concrete (masonry) are classified as patios and those built from lumber are designated as decks.
Patios are usually built at grade with a finished height that does not exceed six inches. For construction of patios built at existing grade (and less than 500 square feet), no permits are required for their construction. If your lot is served by a private well and/or septic, an at-grade patio must be reviewed by the Quality and Septic Systems Program to ensure that access for septic tank maintenance is provided.
Decks are generally elevated structures. A building permit is required for construction of decks over eight inches in height. Decks near septic systems should be designed so that footers or other support structures do not damage septic system plumbing or prevent pumping access to septic tank cleanouts.
If you intend to construct a patio or deck, you must apply for a building permit and submit site plans showing the existing and proposed structure location(s), including well and/or septic (if applicable). Structural plans are also required.
If you are located in a subdivision with a Homeowner’s Association (HOA), a separate approval from the HOA may be necessary. Unless erected by the homeowner, all home improvement projects require a contractor who is licensed with the Maryland Home Improvement Commission.
For applicable forms visit Forms and Checklists.
Download Patios and Decks PDF
The following plans are required to apply for a patio permit.
- Three (3) Site/Plot Plans that indicate the location