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Uncovered Deck Permit

An uncovered deck is an open, elevated porch with no roof, extending from a building.

Development Considerations

The first step of any project is obtaining Development approval.  Approval is obtained when a Development Officer reviews the submitted site plan and building drawings and determines that they meet the minimum requirements outlined in Land Use Bylaw 6300.

Minimum setback requirements (measured from the property line to the closest portion of the deck) for uncovered decks more than 0.6m in height from the standing platform to the average grade are:
  • Front – 6.00m (20’0”)
  • Side – 1.2m (4’0”)
  • Rear – 5.0m (16’6”)

Uncovered decks that are less than 0.6m in height from the standing platform to the average grade do not require development approval as they are considered to be landscaping.

For further information please contact Planning and Design at 403-320-3920 or by email at

Required Permits & Inspections

Decks with a walking surface of 600mm (24”) or less are considered landscaping and do not require permits.

If the walking surface is greater than 600mm (24”) above grade, a Development Permit and Building Permit are necessary. A Final inspection will be required once all work is completed.


Design Considerations

Utility Meters and Connections

  • When a gas or electric meter is in the vicinity of a proposed deck, code or other safety requirements may impact the design. Prior to making application for your construction permit please consult Electric Design (by calling 311) and Atco Gas (by calling 403-380-5400) to discuss any meter placement considerations which may impact the project.


  • Decks with a walking surface of less than 900mm (36”) in height may be supported with a combined concrete pier and sidewalk block on grade.
  • Decks with a walking surface of greater than 900mm (36”) in height are required to be supported on either:
    • Pier/post on pad footing, min. 1200mm (48”) below grade
    • Engineered concrete piles
    • Engineered screw piles

Joists, Beams & Decking

  • Deck joists, rim boards and beams must be designed in accordance with span tables from either the NBC 2019- AE or the Canadian Wood Council Span Book.
  • Decking materials should be chosen in accordance with good building practice, and composite materials must be approved by the Canadian Construction Materials Center (CCMC).
  • Decks must be constructed to maintain access to gas & electric meters (if applicable).

Hand & Guard Rails

  • 900mm (36”) guardrails may be used on a deck with a walking surface of up to 1800mm (5’-11”) in height from grade.
  • 1070mm (42”) guardrails are required on decks with surface heights exceeding 1800mm (5’-11”) from grade.
  • Handrails are required when steps exceed more than 3 risers, regardless of height, and on both sides of the stairwell if the width is greater than 1100mm (43 ½”).

Permit Application

  • Completed application with eApply
  • Completed Deck Construction Design Template (Optional)
  • 1 set of construction drawings containing:
    • Site Plan: showing location of gas/electrical meters (if applicable)
    • Elevation Drawings: showing deck height
    • Top plan view: all construction members specified
    • Cross Section: showing deck height & supporting foundation