FAQs: Deck Design Restrictions

Can I place a hot tub on my deck?

Yes. However, the deck must be strong enough to support the heavy weight associated with a hot tub. An existing deck will most likely need to be reinforced. Please note: you cannot use typical details for decks which include a hot tub.

When applying for a permit for a deck with a hot tub, please ensure your application includes the hot tub's model number, model specifications, load requirements and manufacturer's installation guidelines. For more information on the installation of a hot tub, see Pools, Spas & Hot Tubs.

Can I build a screened-in porch or a sunroom on my existing deck?

Maybe. Zoning regulations may prohibit your deck from being converted to a screened-in porch or sunroom. If zoning poses no restrictions, the existing deck must be specifically strengthened to resist the new loads, like snow and/or wind loads, imposed by the new roof and/or walls. For zoning questions, please call 703-222-1082, TTY 711.

Can I put decorative lattice beneath my deck?

Maybe. The answer to this question involves the zoning ordinance. A deck that has no coverings above and below is considered an open deck. If you add lattice, the deck is then considered an addition with different set-back requirements than a deck. For more information contact zoning at 703-222-1082, TTY 711.

Can I construct a privacy screen on my deck?

Maybe. Zoning regulations may prohibit a privacy screen on one or all sides of your deck. If there are no zoning restrictions, the deck must be designed to resist the added loads associated with a privacy screen. For zoning questions, please call 703-222-1082, TTY 711.

More Questions?

Please contact Building Plan Review via e-mail or telephone at 703-222-0114, TTY 711. You may also consult the Decks publication or the Fairfax County Typical Deck Details.

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