No. Patios placed on solid ground do not required a permit.
A wood structure which rests entirely on the ground is a wood patio, and no permit is required.
The threshold for when a concrete patio becomes a structural slab is determined by the depth of the fill material beneath it. If you exceed a fill depth of 24 inches for gravel or sand and eight inches for earth, your patio is now a structural slab and must be designed by a registered design professional licensed in the commonwealth of Virginia.
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.