Patios & Decks
Patio or Deck Covers: Patio and deck covers are one story structures not exceeding 12 feet in height. They may be a simple structure consisting of a roof and supporting members only or they may be enclosed. Patio covers may be freestanding (detached) or attached to the house.

Enclosed Patios: Patio enclosure walls may have any configuration, provided the open area of the longer wall and one additional wall is equal to at least 65% of the area below a minimum of 6 feet 8 inches of each wall measured from the floor. Openings may be enclosed with insect screening or translucent or transparent plastic that is readily removable and not more than .12 (1/8) inch in thickness.

Patio and deck covers shall be used only for recreational outdoor living purposes and not as carports, garages, storage rooms or habitable rooms.

Sunrooms: Sunrooms are glassed-in enclosures and are allowed if certain conditions are met:
  • The door leading into the sunroom from the house is left in place.
  • The sunroom is not heated and utilized as habitable space.
  • The sunroom does not cover the required egress window of a bedroom.
  • The sunroom does not alter the natural lighting and ventilation requirements of the adjacent rooms.
Permits Required
Decks: All decks require a building permit.

NOTE: Decks constructed within 18 inches of the ground shall be made of redwood or pressure-treated lumber to avoid dry rot.

Patio or Deck Covers: A patio cover regardless of size, requires a building permit. Most patio or deck covers can be approved as proposed. However, you are encouraged to contact the Planning Division to make sure proposed structure does not encroach on easements or required side, front or rear yard setbacks.
Required Drawings
Minimum Plan Checklist

Four (4) sets of the following drawings are required, if applicable:

Plot Plan: This plan is a view of the entire property. Clearly show and dimension to scale all property lines, easements, setbacks, roads, drainage away from the building, existing structures, proposed structures/additions, retaining walls, water well(s), septic system(s), LP tank(s), streams, north arrow, scale, owner name, name of person preparing plans and project address. Additions and/or areas of remodel shall be shaded and/or cross hatched in relation to overall building.

Framing Plan & Elevation: Showing the size of rafters, spacing, beams or girders; the distance between supporting columns; the method of attachment to the house and foundation; the type of foundation used, and the materials used to construct the patio or deck.

Smoke Detectors: Show that smoke detectors are provided in the building per the California Building Code if the value of the patio cover exceeds $1,000.00 and is attached to the building.
Handrails And Guardrails
Decks that are constructed 30 inches or more above ground are required to have a guardrail surrounding the deck and a continuous handrail along the flight of stairs serving the deck.

The top of the guardrail shall be not less than 42 inches. Open guardrails shall have intermediate rails or ornamental pattern such that a sphere 4 inches in diameter cannot pass though.

Handrails are required on stairs that have four or more risers. The top of the handrails shall be placed not less than 34 inches nor more than 38 inched above the nosing of treads. They shall be continuous for the full length of the stairs and the ends shall be returned or terminate in newel posts. The handgrip portion of handrails shall not be less than 1 1/4 inches nor more than 2 inches in cross section with an adequate smooth griping surface with no sharp corners and spaced 1 1/2 inches from an adjacent wall. For requirements for commercial application of handrails and guardrails please call the Building & Safety Division at (707) 784-6765.
Permit Application
When applying for a permit, certain information is required to complete the permit application.
  • Description of the work
  • Location of the project
  • Legal owners name, address and phone number
  • Valuation of the proposed work
  • Other information as may be required
The owner/contractor or an authorized agent is the only legal person who can sign the building permit application. Upon approval of the application and issuance of the permit, the permittee has 180 days to commence work on the project.
Environmental Health
Regardless whether a permit is required, check with Environmental Health to make sure the patio or deck does not encroach upon the septic tank or leach field.
Zoning Requirements
Most patio or deck covers can be approved as proposed. However, you are encouraged to contact the Planning Division to make sure proposed structure does not encroach on easements or required side, front or rear yard setbacks.
Deck: The following inspections are made only if a permit is issued for the deck:
  • Footing: To be made after piers/footings are dug and prior to concrete placement.
  • Intermediate Inspections shall be requested if an area of construction is to be covered up by other areas of construction or grading.
  • Final: To be made after girders are set and the deck and guardrails, handrails and stairs, if required, are installed
Patio or Deck Cover: Due to the nature of the structure the frame and final may be completed at the same time unless the patio walls are enclosed. If the walls are to be enclosed, inspection of the framework is required, prior to covering.
When To Call For An inspection
For your convenience, the Building Division provides a 24-hour inspection requests line. When you call please leave the permit number, address and type of inspection requested. Inspections will be made on the day following request. The approved plans and the inspection card that are issued should be on the job site and available to the inspector at the time of inspection. (707) 421-4750
Important Numbers
Department of Resource Management
675 Texas Street, Suite 5500, Fairfield.
Building/Planning/Health Divisions (707) 784-6765
Building Inspection request line (707) 784-4750