Decks in Fairfax County


Building Permit Requirements

  • You must obtain building permits for your deck (wood patios are exempt from permitting).
  • Building plans are required, but may be substituted with one of the typical deck drawings shown below.
  • A site-related plan is required to show the impact of your construction on your property.
  • Your project must be inspected to ensure the construction is in accordance with the code and the approved plans.

Learn more in our Decks publication

Typical Deck Details

Standard deck construction plans are available that can be used in lieu of a plan submission during the permit application process if your deck qualifies...

  • Use is for residential only.
  • Deck is single level.
  • Maximum joist span is 18 feet.
  • Deck does not support a hot tub, sunroom, screen porch or roof.

The Fairfax County Typical Deck Details and Standard DCA6 from the American Wood Council are accepted typical deck drawings. Click on the images below to access the drawings.

Fairfax County Typical Deck Details

Deck Safety and Deck Maintenance

Industry reports that 2.5 million decks are constructed in the United States annually, prompting experts to warn that with such large numbers comes the probability of an increase in deck failures. Most decks fail at the connection to the house or where the guard posts attach to the deck.

  • If you're building a deck, it is essential that you carefully follow one of the guidelines above to ensure strong connections and a safe deck.
  • If you have an existing deck, you will need to perform regular inspections and maintenance.

Learn more about Deck Safety

More Questions?

For more information, follow the links above, go to our FAQs, email us or call the Permit Application Center at 703-222-0801, TTY 711.

Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

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