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The City of Portland, Oregon

Development Services

From Concept to Construction

Phone: 503-823-7300


1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

More Contact Info


Information on adding or replacing a deck.

Getting Started

Building Permits are required for most decks. A building permit is not required for decks where no part of the walking surface is more than 30 inches above adjacent grade.

Some decks may be exempt from requiring a building permit, but may still require a Zoning Permit, depending on specific site conditions or placement on the lot. To determine if you need a zoning permit visit or call the Planning and Zoning staff (503) 823-7526 at the Development Services Center.

See Deck Design Guide, an easy-to-use document to help design a deck, obtain a building permit and pass inspections, with pre-approved details and construction standards.

If you need additional assistance, we encourage you to visit the Development Services Center. Review staff is available to discuss your project with you, and can help identify key issues early in the planning stage. Bringing sketches and photographs with you is helpful.

Apply For My Permit

Construction drawings and supporting documentation are required to show the project's scope and illustrate that the proposed work will meet all applicable codes. Since every project is unique, there may be some situations where you will be asked to provide additional information.

Permit fees are based on the valuation of the work approved for construction. Fees will be determined during the plan review stage of your permit. To estimate permit fees, fee schedules are available online, or you can call Permitting Services staff at (503) 823-7357.

If you are hiring a contractor to do work on your project, they must be registered with the State of Oregon and carry a current CCB license

Plan Review Process

Most permits for simple decks can be issued "over the counter" while you wait. You will meet with review staff from different departments who will check your construction documents to verify the proposed construction will meet the various codes. Staff from the following departments will check a typical deck permit:

  • Planning and Zoning Review
  • Life Safety Review
  • Structural Review
  • Site Development Review
  • Urban Forestry Review

During the review, if information is missing, or if corrections are needed, you will be asked to return with that information. 

If the project is more complex and a review cannot be completed over the counter, the plans will be taken in for further review. You will be sent a checksheet requesting any clarifications or corrections. For additional information on the review process, see the permitting process overview flowchart

When all the reviews are complete, the permit will be issued, and you can begin work.


Most deck projects require that erosion control measures be installed, prior to beginning any further ground disturbing activities. 

You will be given an inspection card that lists common inspections on residential permits. This card will be used to track the inspections done on the project. 

For an overview of the inspection process, including how to schedule an inspection, see our Residential Inspections page.

Applications & Handouts