Are you planning to build a deck this spring or summer? If so, you should be aware of a few guidelines that could help you through the permitting process. Our CAM 312, Decks, Fences and Arbors for Single Family Homes in Seattle, provides good information on the rules for decks in single-family zones.
If you are planning a deck that is ground level or no higher than 18 inches above ground, then you do not need a permit from DPD. If your deck will be over 18 inches above ground and below 8 feet high, then you will qualify for a subject-to-field-inspection (STFI) permit, which is often referred to as an over-the-counter permit. Any deck over 8 feet high will require plan review after the initial intake appointment.
If your project qualifies for a STFI, then you need to be sure you are meeting required yards and lot coverage standards. In signtle-family zones decks over 18 inches high cannot extend into the required yard for the front (20 feet), side (5 feet), and rear (25 feet or 20 percent of the lot depth). Your deck cannot exceed the allowed lot coverage for your property. See CAM 316, Subject-to-Field Inspection Permits, or www.seattle.gov/dpd/Permits/Process_Overview/TypesofPermitIntake/
STFI_Permits/ for more information.
Your deck will also have life-safety requirements. CAM 303 A, Common Seattle Residential Code Requirements, provides an overview of what is needed for safe guardrails, stairs, etc.
If you need further assistance before starting your project, please visit the Applicant Services Center on the 20th floor of the Seattle Municipal Tower (700 5th Avenue).