Prince George's County Homeowner's Guide to Permits Patios & Decks

Patios and decks are similar in that the are both open-air leisure are. These structures are generally derogated from one another based upon construction materials. Those built from brick block stone or concrete topsoil are classier as patios and those built from lumber are called decks.

Patios are usually built at made with a finished height that does not exceed six inches. For construction of patios built at existing grade (and less than 500 square feet), no permits are required for their construction. If your lot is served by a private well and/or septic, an at-grade patio must be reviewed by the Quality and Septic Systems Program to ensure that access for septic tank maintenance is provided.

Decks are generally elevated structures. A building permit is required for construction of decks over eight inches in height. The following pages show the standard details for a deck constructed of lumber. These can be used for your deck plan. Decks near septic systems should be designed so that footers or other support structures do not septic system plumbing or prevent pumping access to septic tank clean-outs.

If you intend to construct a patio or deck you must apply for a building permit and submit site plans showing the existing and proposed structure location(s), including well and/or septic (if applicable). Structural plans are also required. Unless constructed by the homeowner, all home improvement projects require a contractor who is licensed with the Maryland Home Improvement Commission.