Building a Deck

Deck construction is considered an addition to a home, and therefore requires permits and inspections to ensure it’s safe. Please review the deck details document prior to your permit submission: Appendix M - Residential Code.

Permits Required

A basic deck usually requires only a Residential Building and Zoning Permit. The following types of permits could be required, depending on the complexity of the project:

Any trade permits that are required can be listed on the Residential Accessory application. You do not need to submit a separate application for electrical or plumbing permits that are associated with the construction of your deck. 

Permit Process

Customers can choose to submit pool applications in paper or electronic form. This document explains what is needed for a completed application packet and what the review process entails: Accessory Structures Permitting Process

Once you are ready to submit your application for can email it to or bring the paper application to our office at 234 NW Corridor Blvd. Jacksonville, NC 28540.

Construction Document Requirements

Submitted construction documents must contain sufficient information for plan reviewers to be able to review the proposed construction work. In additions to the Residential Accessory Application you will need to submit the following documentation for our plan reviewers:

  • A site plan
  • A copy of your septic permit if your home is on a septic system. This is required even if plumbing is not being utilized. 
  • Building plans that include the following details:
    • Elevation drawings of all sides of proposed decks
    • Footing details (minimum footing depth is 12 inches)
    • The size, spacing, and length of all posts, joists, and beams shown on a framing plan
    • Handrail and guard details and dimensions
    • Stair details and dimensions (if applicable) including a note relative to stairway illumination (e.g., "all stairs shall be provided with an artificial light source which will illuminate the stair including all treads and landings.")
    • Attachment details, such as the attachment to the house, joist to beam connections, rail to post connections, post to footing, etc. 


Throughout the building permit process and depending upon the extent of the work, you will be required to complete different inspections. The minimum inspections required for a deck are as follows:

  • Setback Inspection: Ensure the deck meets the minimum setback for the lot
  • Footing Inspection: After the footing is dug prior to cast in the place concrete 
  • Rough-in Framing Inspection: Joists, beams, connections, and mechanical attachments are inspected prior to placement of decking
  • Compliance Zoning Inspection: Ensures setbacks are still being met and that the location of the deck has not changed since the initial setback inspection and ensures that no unpermitted structures have been constructed 
  • Compliance Building Inspection: All remaining items are inspected

*These inspection are only meant to depict the minimum inspection requirements when constructing a deck. Depending on the complexity of the project, additional inspections could be required. 

Call Onslow County Permitting Technicians to schedule your inspection(s) by 4:00 p.m. for next business day inspections. Permit Technicians can be reached Monday - Friday at 910-455-3661 from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM.


The cost for permits vary depending on the complexity of the project. Below is our current fee schedule which can be used to estimate the cost of your project.

*Additional permits and fees may be required from other departments.