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  • Uncovered decks and patios

    The information on this page will help guide you through building a deck or patio.  Enclosing an existing deck or building a covered deck? Visit Additions and covered decks.

    Deck means any open structure attached to a building having a height of 0.6m (2.0 ft) or greater above grade.

    Patio means any developed surface adjacent to a building on a site that is less than 0.6m (2.0 ft) above grade.

    Call us: 780-349-4444
    Email us: planning@westlock.ca
    In-Person: 10003-106 Street, Westlock, AB

    A Development Permit covers the what and where a development may proceed. It approves what type of development is allowed on a particular property, taking into account land use and setback issues of the Town’s Land Use Bylaw.

    A Building Permit covers how it is built. It allows the construction/demolition of structures contingent on meeting the requirements of the Alberta Building Code.

    The type of structure being built will determine what permits you require. Height measurements indicated below must be made from grade (ground level).  To apply, see How do I apply, below.

    When is a Development and Building Permit required?

    In residential areas, a Development and Building Permit are required when:

    • The floor of the deck is 0.6m (2 ft) or greater from grade.
    • The proposed deck or patio will be covered or enclosed. See Additions and covered decks for permit information

    For uncovered decks, less than 0.6m (2 ft) from grade (also known as patios), neither a Development nor a Building Permit are required. 

    Risks when a permit is not obtained

    If you, as a homeowner or contractor, do not have permits for work that has been started or completed, there could be consequences if you do not take action to correct the situation, such as:

    • Enforcement action issued by the Town or a Safety Codes Officer.
    • A fine for building without a permit.
    • Having to undo work that has been completed.
    • Future legal and financial issues when selling your property or making an insurance claim.
    • Having to do more work than was originally planned and budgeted, to fix deficiencies.
    • Potential liability to you, the homeowner, in the event of an accident.

    NOTE: As a homeowner, you are responsible for paying any penalties, even if you hired a contractor who assured you that permits were not required.  For more information, visit Tips for hiring contractors.

    Uncovered deckbuilding requirements:

    • The maximum size of the deck depends on the size of your lot and the size of your home.  In total, the footprint of all buildings and uncovered decks on your lot cannot exceed 40% of your total lot area.
    • An uncovered deck must follow the setback requirements of the building it is attached to.
    • An uncovered deck must be located at least 2.0m from any accessory building (ie. Detached garage)
    • An uncovered deck can project 2.0m (6.56 ft) into a front yard.

    Structural and foundation requirements for uncovered decks vary depending on their size and height from grade.  All uncovered decks 0.6m (2.0ft) or higher require a handrail. We recommend confirming your deck design with Superior Safety Codes at 780 489 4777 prior to applying and purchasing materials.

    Patios (uncovered decks less than 0.6m (2.0ft) high) can be built as large and in any location on your property that you wish.  However, they must be designed so that they do not affect drainage onto surrounding properties or Town streets and lanes.

    Submit an application for each permit, along with other relevant documents, to Planning & Development Services (contact info below).

    1 - Determine which applications you need.
    (See What permits do I need, above). You can then download checklists and forms (below) and complete them.

    NOTE: Development and Building Permits must be applied for and approved prior to safety codes permit applications.  We recommend applying for Development and Building Permits concurrently.

    Development Permits & Checklists

    Residential Development Permit Application Package

    Building Permits & Checklists

    Building Permit Application Package

    Deck Checklist

    2 - Have drawings ready:

    • Site Plan – dimensioned with distances to property lines and other buildings labelled

    3 – Apply with all the required documentation. 

    Application methods:

    In-Person or by Mail to:

    Planning & Development Services
    Town of Westlock
    10003 106 Street
    Westlock, AB  T7P 2K3

     Email to: planning@westlock.ca 

    Payment methods:
    After your application is received and processed, you will be notified by email or phone of the application fee(s). See our Fee Schedule for our current permit fees.

    Online:

    • Credit card (Visa or MasterCard)

    In-person:

    • Debit
    • Cash
    • Cheque
    • Credit Card (Visa or MasterCard or Amex)

    Mail payment:

    • Cheque

    What if I am not the property owner?

    If you are not the owner of the property, then you must get the owner's consent to apply for any permits.  The Town accepts the following forms of owner authorization:

    • Signature on Development Permit application
    • Letter of consent from Property Owner

    How long will it take to obtain my permits?

    Timelines vary based on the type of application as well as our current application volumes.  Give yourself as much time as possible to complete the permit process prior to your preferred construction start date in case of any complications or revisions required.

    When planning your construction project, it is important to learn where and what underground and overhead utilities are located on your property. Locates are done free of charge but require a couple of days notice to obtain.

      Alberta One-Call 1-800-242-3447

    Inspections for all building and safety codes permits are performed by the Town’s Safety Codes contractor, Superior Safety Codes.

    Inspections can be booked by phoning Superior Safety Codes at 780-489-4777.

    When phoning please have your permit number handy.

    Below are sample drawings for Development Permits and Building Permits for uncovered decks.

    Download or view the Sample Deck Site Plan PDF.