Decks and porches

A building permit is required for most decks.
Always call utilities before you dig.


Zoning regulates how close your deck can be to your property lines. Zoning regulations apply to decks whether or not a permit is required.

Regulations for decks vary depending on:

  • the zone
  • the yard the deck is located in
  • the design of the deck (height, roofed)


Building permits are required for decks where the floor is higher than .6 metres (2 feet) above finished grade at any point.

Building permit applications are required to be submitted electronically through the Guelph Permit and Application System. As a registered user you can check the status of your permit, pay fees and book inspections online. Ensure all required drawings are ready to upload in PDF format before starting your online application.

All drawings listed below must be included and must be drawn to a recognizable scale (e.g. 1/4 inch equals 1 foot). Partial plans or photos will not be accepted.

  • A survey or site plan illustrating the lot width and depth, the location of the proposed deck (including setbacks to property lines), the size of the deck, and all existing buildings or structures on the property.
  • A plan view illustrating the following:
    • Overall dimensions of the deck
    • Size and location of posts
    • Size and location of beams
    • Size and spacing of floor joists and direction the joists are spanning
    • Location and width of stairs (if applicable)
  • An elevation/section illustrating the following:
    • Height of deck (at highest point)
    • Type, depth and size of footings/foundation/piers
    • Type of guard/railing system. For non-wood guards, include manufacturers name


Once the building permit application is deemed complete, you will be notified by email of the applicable building permit fee. Visit for the current fee schedule.

Building requirements for decks

Information required for building permit

Guard system 1

Guard system 2

Privacy guard detail

Beam and post connection detail

Zoning requirements for decks

Uncovered porch/deck (less than 1.2 metres above grade)

Uncovered porch/deck (more than 1.2 metres above grade)

Open-roofed porch/deck

Zoning requirements for balconies

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For more information

Building Services
[email protected]