Tips for properly constructing your home improvement project

Decks. Fences. Basement finishes. These are some of the most popular home improvement projects homeowners undertake to upgrade their homes. They’re popular this time of year, with the sun shining and homeowners looking to add that finishing touch to their investment.

Whether you want to do it yourself or hire a contractor, home improvement projects are extensive efforts. Not only do they involve lots of planning and building, but many projects also require permits and have specific City code requirements you must follow. As you get started, consider these building and permitting guidelines.

Guidelines for Constructing a Residential Deck

Decks are a great way to bring indoor activities into the fresh outdoor air — from dining to reading to socializing. Before you begin construction on your deck, make sure you get a permit, if one is required (they’re a key safety measure). A permit is required if your deck will be:

  • attached to the house
  • larger than 200 square feet
  • higher than 30 inches above grade

As you plan your deck, make sure you’re following City code requirements. Your deck must be at least 25 feet from your rear property line and built of decay-resistant or pressure-treated lumber. In addition, exterior lighting is required to illuminate any steps, and an exterior power outlet is also required.

Inspections are a required part of the process too — both during and after construction. Like with your permit, you can schedule your inspections through ePlace.

Learn more about these deck construction guidelines and more in the video below.

You can find more guidelines for residential decks and other home improvement projects through our permits directory.

Apply for a Building Permit

Ready to get started on your home improvement project? Remember to first apply for a permit. You can apply for your building permit online through the City’s permitting platform, ePlace

City staff are happy to help you as you work through the permitting process. You’re welcome to call the Building Permits desk at 913-895-6225 or visit in person at City Hall, 8500 Santa Fe Drive, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.