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Old 03-22-2009, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Round Rock, TX
2 posts, read 26,324 times
Reputation: 13
Question Building a deck - Permit needed?

I just bought my house in Round Rock last October, and one thing I knew I needed to do was turn the bare backyard into something more cozy. I really want to build a deck but I have two main concerns, and I was hoping to get some advice from you fine folk:

1. There is a slope/underground drainage in the middle of the backyard. The backyard slopes downward in the middle of the lot, then back up, so the "dip" is right smack in the middle. Reason for this is that there is some underground drainage thing going on, with the drainage outlet right on the side of my fence that is next to the street (I live in a corner lot). Does anyone else have this problem?

2. Do I really need a permit to build the deck? I was hoping to do this myself, so I wasn't going to hire a contractor nor draw up any standard plans other than some very rough drawings on AutoCAD. But I saw on the city website that a deck would be considered an addition to the house, and I would need to get a permit to build the deck, along with submitting plans and contractor information.

Any suggestions for either concern would be appreciated. Thanks!

B
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:53 AM
 
8,241 posts, read 10,272,055 times
Reputation: 3550
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeebsRR View Post
I just bought my house in Round Rock last October, and one thing I knew I needed to do was turn the bare backyard into something more cozy. I really want to build a deck but I have two main concerns, and I was hoping to get some advice from you fine folk:

1. There is a slope/underground drainage in the middle of the backyard. The backyard slopes downward in the middle of the lot, then back up, so the "dip" is right smack in the middle. Reason for this is that there is some underground drainage thing going on, with the drainage outlet right on the side of my fence that is next to the street (I live in a corner lot). Does anyone else have this problem?

2. Do I really need a permit to build the deck? I was hoping to do this myself, so I wasn't going to hire a contractor nor draw up any standard plans other than some very rough drawings on AutoCAD. But I saw on the city website that a deck would be considered an addition to the house, and I would need to get a permit to build the deck, along with submitting plans and contractor information.

Any suggestions for either concern would be appreciated. Thanks!

B
Can't help with #1, but as far as #2 goes, you'll need a permit in case you want to sell your house or you have an accident on it and your homeowner's insurance gets involved. An addition without a permit will cause 'issues' in either of those two cases. Pulling a permit will add to the 'value' of your house and you might see a rise in property tax accordingly. That's your call.
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Old 03-22-2009, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
974 posts, read 1,519,714 times
Reputation: 751
Also, the Fire Department is going to want to know if there is going to be a large wood deck in the backyard. A cement deck may be considered a "permanent" structure. Getting a permit for such a project is easy in Round Rock...
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Old 04-06-2009, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Round Rock, TX
2 posts, read 26,324 times
Reputation: 13
I read up on getting a permit in Round Rock, but it seems like a lot of work! I really want this to be a DIY, but it looks like I need to get an engineer to approve the plans, plus contact information for the contractor performing the work. If I were to go through Lowes or Home Depot - their building services - would it be easier to get the permit?
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Old 04-06-2009, 01:39 PM
 
420 posts, read 778,107 times
Reputation: 103
My husband and I built a deck in Dallas and when we sold the house, nobody ask about permits. Lots of our neighbors did this too and no one got permits that I know of.

If we were building a deck on the upper level of our two story home, then we would get a permit for that. Ours was built next to the concrete patio slab.

Debbie
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Old 04-06-2009, 05:41 PM
 
47 posts, read 128,121 times
Reputation: 24
I just went to the Cedar Park's building inspector's office today. We are also building a deck and I went to turn in the permit. It wasn't that simple, like someone said, it will be a lot of work just to turn in the permit! They want drawings (but said we could definitely do this ourselves), and descriptions....for example, how we are going to anchor the deck. In addition, it is going to cost more than I thought. I saw a $35 fee on the website and now the papers I received today adds another $25 for a "review fee". I'm very tempted to just do it without a permit, but afraid of the consequences (now or later). We're doing this ourselves, but I'm pretty sure if you use a contractor they will do all the work for you. There was a contractor there at the same time today and he said Home Depot will do the drawings for you if you are going to buy the supplies through them, just so you know.
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:21 AM
 
1,330 posts, read 1,390,819 times
Reputation: 1226
Watch out too if you are living on a lot that is burdened with an HOA. If your home is in an HOA, you can be threatened with fines and a lawsuit if you build or try to build any "Improvement" without getting "permission" from those oh-so-qualified folks and their managing agent. Don't rely upon verbal approvals or unsigned letters from either the Board, Architectural Committee, or management company - that's an invitation to disaster.
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:40 AM
 
603 posts, read 1,864,742 times
Reputation: 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Watch out too if you are living on a lot that is burdened with an HOA. If your home is in an HOA, you can be threatened with fines and a lawsuit if you build or try to build any "Improvement" without getting "permission" from those oh-so-qualified folks and their managing agent. Don't rely upon verbal approvals or unsigned letters from either the Board, Architectural Committee, or management company - that's an invitation to disaster.
Hah you are still on your rant about HOAs. This has been a pretty long one!
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:12 AM
 
1,886 posts, read 3,651,252 times
Reputation: 504
My HOA took 3 hours to approve our deck, so they aren't all bad. The only questions they asked for were reasonable. What are the drawings, color of the visible decking, and location on the lot.
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:39 PM
 
47 posts, read 128,121 times
Reputation: 24
Thanks for the tip, sure enough we need approval from our HOA as well (and pay more fees!) They have 30 days stated, but they will do their best to be done sooner! I'm also becoming very sarcastic about HOA's.....it's not enough to get approval from the city, the HOA wants their own permit and money of course! We're talking about a wooden deck on my property!
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