Building & Renovating

Porches and Decks

COVID-19: FAQ for Development Approvals

As the COVID-19 situation in Hamilton continues to evolve, these Frequently Asked Questions for Development Approvals will be regularly updated as circumstances change to provide residents and developers with current information.

A deck or porch is an exterior structure that may or may not be attached to a building, with or without a roof, and may include guards (railings) as required by the Ontario Building Code.

Do I need a permit to construct a deck or porch?

Generally, a Building Permit is required for a deck or porch that is attached to the principal dwelling or used in conjunction with an on-ground or above-ground swimming pool. A Building Permit may NOT be required if a deck is located in a rear yard and is not attached to the principal dwelling and does not exceed 10 square metres (108 square feet) in area and is less than 24” above grade.

Note: In cases where a Building Permit is not required, all porches and decks must still meet Zoning By-law requirements and all other applicable regulations.

Apply for a Building Permit

When building a deck or porch, you will need to submit:

  • A completed Application to Construct or Demolish (PDF, 73 KB)
  • A Site Plan must be included with your permit application. A Site Plan identifies buildings and other features in relation to property boundaries. The Site Plan should show your existing house and the size and location of the proposed porch or deck. Ensure to include this information on your Site Plan:
    • Title, scale, north arrow, and property dimensions
    • Street name and municipal address number
    • Setbacks to all property lines for the existing dwelling and the proposed deck or porch
    • Any right-of-ways and/or easements
    • Location and size of all accessory buildings, garages, sheds and pools including hot tubs
    • Front yard landscaping, such as a driveway or sidewalks (if applicable)
  • Detailed construction drawings indicating:
    • Size/dimensions of proposed porch/deck in relation to existing structure, height from grade to top of slab, decking, railing and/or roof where applicable
    • Construction of stairs, guards and handrails; include stair width, stringer size, rise, run, guard spacing, height, materials and attachment details
    • Roof framing (if applicable): include materials, size, grade and spacing of rafters, showing support details at all bearing points
    • Footing, foundation or pier construction details; include size, space, depth and compressive strength of concrete
    • For wood frame deck construction: indicate size, grade, direction, spacing and span of joists and beams. View a sample drawing (PDF, 45 KB)
    • For concrete porch construction: indicate concrete compressive strength; thickness of slab; size and spacing of any rebar present, and means of support.
    • View a sample drawing (PDF, 508 KB)
  • Refer to the Residential Decks/Porches Checklist (PDF, 492 KB) when preparing your application to ensure you have the required information.

For more detailed information about applying for a building permit, visit Building Permit Application Requirements.