FAQs: Patios

Is a permit required for a patio?

No. Patios placed on solid ground do not required a permit.

If I lay my deck on the ground without posts, is this a deck or a wood patio? Do I need a permit?

A wood structure which rests entirely on the ground is a wood patio, and no permit is required.

Is a guard required on my raised patio?

A guard is required when a raised patio is more than 30 inches above the ground below. A guard must meet all the requirements listed below.

  • The minimum height is 36 inches.
  • The top rail must be designed to resist a 200 pound concentrated load in any direction.
  • The infill must be designed to resist a 50 pound load over a one square foot area and constructed such that a four inch diameter sphere cannot penetrate.

For more information on a typical approved wood guard, go to the Fairfax County Typical Deck Details.

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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