Decks, Gazebos & Pergolas
Decks - Construction Requirements
The installation of a deck requires:
- A completed Building Permit Application
- A drawing of the proposed project that shows detailed compliance with one of the construction methods listed below.
- A site plan showing your lot, location of all buildings on the lot, and the proposed deck
- In some cases, subdivision approval is also required (Contact your subdivision representative for more information, our office does not have subdivision representative contact information)
What You Need to Know About Decks
- Decks up to 3 feet high may extend to within 8 feet of the rear property line.
- Decks over 3 feet high may not be closer than 24 feet to the rear property line. Side yard setbacks can vary, so please call with questions.
- If your plans include the installation of a roof over the deck, the distances to the property line are greater.
Decks for one or two-family dwellings must be constructed to one of the following standards;
SPS 321.225 Decks. (1) Decks attached to dwellings and any detached decks that serve an exit shall comply with the applicable provisions of subchs. II to X of ch. SPS 321, including all of the following:
(a) Excavation requirements under s. SPS 321.14;
(b) Footing requirements under s. SPS 321.15 (2) (f);
(c) Frost penetration requirements under s. SPS 321.16;
(d) Load requirements under s. SPS 321.02;
(e) Stair, handrail and guard requirements of s. SPS 321.04.
(f) Decay protection requirements of s. SPS 321.10.
SPS 321.225 (2) A deck that complies with the standards in ch. SPS 320-325 Appendix B, and ch. SPS 320-325 Appendix C, if applicable, shall be considered as complying with sub. (1). Meaning, you would follow Appendix B and C exclusively.
Also, the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) has determined that a deck designed and constructed to the DCA6 standard, (Prescriptive Residential Deck Construction Guide-2012 IRC version by The American Would Council), would be considered code compliant. The decision was based on several factors which included the following:
-Based on prior analysis by the department, the DCA6 standard met or exceeded Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code requirements.
-The DCA6 standard is primarily based on NDS standards, which the Department also adopts in SPS 320.24
-Finally, utilizing the DCA6 standard would in fact be considered a form of structural analysis which is accepted under the scope of SPS321.02(2).
A gazebo is a structure with a permanent roof, intended to shed water, its sides could be open or enclosed. This type of structure is typically intended to spend a duration of time in. Our ordinance setback requirements apply to this type of structure and a Building Permit is required.
A pergola is an open sided structure that supports some type of overhead, nominal lumber or other material meant to provide shade. It is not intended as a permanent watershed. This type of structure is typically intended to spend a duration of time in. Our ordinance setback requirements apply to this type of structure. A Building Permit is required only if it will be attached to a building.