Do I Need a Permit to Build a Backyard Pergola?


Pergolas have become a very popular piece of architecture that can enhance any backyard living space and as a homeowner, you are probably wondering if you will need a permit to start building one, especially if you decide to start building one yourself. The answer is yes, but this can depend on where you live and on the specifications of the pergola such as its size and length and where you decide to place it.

For example, in the state of Florida, Building Codes in Construction (BCIC) Florida Statute 553 PART IV, any person, firm, corporation, or government entity is required to obtain a permit when there is any type of construction, erecting, altering, modifying, repairing, or demolishing of a structure. It can help to do your own research in your specific state on building codes and regulations just to be sure.

Building Your Own Pergola

Doing the job yourself can turn out to be an exciting home improvement project, but it’s important to think about the plan first. Do it yourself (DIY) pergolas include a list of instructions, various tools, and materials to complete the job. Being knowledgeable about woodwork and construction materials is a must, otherwise, an inexperienced individual will find it challenging to build one from scratch on their own and will be inclined to seek the help of a professional. 

Construction and Planning Permits

When commencing any major construction project on a residential or commercial property, permits are most often required. A permit is an authorization in writing that is given by the city or county to begin work on a project, in other words, it is a statement granting permission that work can begin and that the overall project has been approved. Permits are essential in ensuring that the required work to build the pergola is safe, and is compliant with building, construction, and zoning codes. 

Obtaining a permit from your city or county can be rather confusing at first, where do you start? What documents do you need to present? Most city or county websites have construction permit forms that can be printed directly from their website, including other documents. Contacting your local permit compliance office is also an option.

Materials and Building Plans

Obtaining the correct permits for your pergola can be an easy process if you know exactly what you need, but it can also help to seek the assistance of a professional contractor to expedite the process for you. According to contractors in Miami, for example, pergolas are meant to complement your outdoor living space and increase the overall value of your property. 

Pergolas can be constructed in two forms, one can be an extension of your house, which means the pergola is connected to your residential property in some manner, the second method of building a pergola is constructing it as a freestanding structure, meaning it is more isolated and further away from your home. Some building codes require you to dig concrete foundations for stable support and require specific materials for stability.

Hiring a Professional Company

Being your own handyman can very likely save you money by doing all the work on your own. But it may take you longer and actually more money long-term compared to hiring a professional construction or renovation company. After all, a professional firm already has all the tools they need to complete your custom pergola on schedule and just the way you want it.

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