- A building permit and zoning permit (PDF)is required for all decks.
- If your property is located in an incorporated town within Loudoun County, submit an approved zoning permit from the town with your application.
In addition to the permit application, you are required to submit:
- Plat of property (or house location survey) showing:
- House and deck location attached to house
- Distances from deck to sides and rear of property
- View a sample plat of property (PDF).
- Learn more about how to get a copy of a plat or survey. If you're unable to locate a copy of the plat or survey of your property showing the house, we will accept a base map of your property (including the house) as shown in WebLogis.
- Deck plans or Loudoun County Typical Deck Detail (PDF)
- Learn more under Required Plans.
- Electrical permit(PDF) may also be required stairway illumination, hot tubs, or spas
- Statement of Owner/Lessee (PDF) if the permits are issued in the property owner’s name.
Submit an application
- Submit the completed permit application, a plat of your property, and deck drawings in one of the following ways:
- Online: Upload and submit your completed application form and required documentation here
- In person (paper submission): Building and Development
Loudoun County Government Center
1 Harrison Street, SE.
Leesburg, Virginia 20175
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Paper submissions require three sets of plans and the house location plat with the deck sketched on it.
Once the application and plans have been reviewed and zoning is approved, you will be notified that the permit is ready for pick-up.
There are two options for achieving building plan approval: using the Loudoun County Typical Deck Detail or submitting a complete set of plans.
Loudoun County Typical Deck Detail
The Loudoun County Typical Deck Detail (PDF) may be used in lieu of deck plans for review with the building permit application. The permit application must reflect the intended use of the Loudoun County Typical Deck Detail. Decks which do not meet the following minimum conditions may not use the typical details in lieu of plans.
- Decks must be for residential use.
- Decks must be single level.
- Joist overhangs must be less than or equal to 2 feet 0 inches
- All deck elements must be designed and built in strict conformance with the Loudoun County Typical Deck Detail and to the dimensions noted on the permit application shown on the house location plat.
- Decks may not be constructed with roofs, screened porches, hot tubs, gazebos, or detached from house.
Field inspectors have the authority and responsibility to reject the construction and require plan review of structural conditions found on site which are not in conformance with the code, are not addressed by the Loudoun County Typical Deck Detail, or do not meet all of these conditions.
Complete Set of Plans
For decks that do not meet the requirements of the Typical Deck Detail, a complete set of plans must be submitted.
All structural elements of the deck must be completely detailed and included on a comprehensive set of plans. Three sets of plans are required for all submissions. The following information must be included:
- Size of all posts, joists, and beams, shown on a framing plan.
- Handrail and guardrail details (including, if applicable, chippendale rail, sun bursts, and pre-manufactured rail systems).
- Stair details.
- Elevations, front, side and rear with attachment details (such as attachment to house, joist to beam connections, rail to post connection, etc.).
- Footing details (minimum footing depth is 24 inches, footings shall bear on solid soil).
- Hot tub manufacturer’s information showing structural loading requirements (if applicable).
Environmentally Sensitive Areas on Lot
Lots with environmentally sensitive areas may take longer to review and may require additional information from the applicant.
If there is a stormwater easement on your property, please email the Stormwater Team before applying for permits.
Some parcels have conservation easements that may limit what is permitted on a property. To search properties with permanent conservation easements, view this map (please note date of data currency). If you have questions about your Board of Supervisors (BOS) held easement, please email or call Office of Mapping & Geographic Information at 703-771-5778. Questions about easements held by other organizations should be directed to the holder of the easement.
To request copies of conservation easements and other legally recorded property documents, please email or call the Clerk of the Circuit Court at 703-737-8775 with the PIN and tax map #. Copies are $0.50/page, payment may be made over the phone by credit card and copies emailed. We recommend that landowners and prospective buyers review the terms of an easement with a land use and zoning attorney.
Requirements for Public Utilities
Call "Miss Utility" at 800-552-7001 before excavating to ensure that the construction does not interfere with underground utility lines."Miss Utility" is a free service to anyone who is planning to excavate. Utility companies support "Miss Utility" to prevent damage to their buried lines. Call at least 48 hours prior to excavating. The various companies will mark the path of underground utilities on your property.
- Not located in an incorporated town:
- Less than 1,000 square feet: $265 (building permit and county zoning permit)
- 1,000 square feet or above: $165 (county zoning permit) + fee based on exact square footage.
- In an incorporated town:
- Less than 1,000 square feet: $100 (building permit only)
- 1,000 square feet or above: fee based on exact square footage.
- Some plans which require plan review may incur a plan review charge.
- If other permits are required, separate fees will be charged based on actual equipment installed on the deck. Examples of equipment requiring additional permits include, but are not limited to, electrical outlets or fixtures, hot tubs, spas, etc.
All fees are calculated based on the details of the application submitted.
Pay application fees
You must pay your application fees before permits are issued.
Inspections are required by law. Inspections help to establish that the deck has been built in accordance with the structural and safety provisions of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (VUSBC) standard construction practices and the approved drawings or the Loudoun County Typical Deck Detail (PDF).
An electronic of paper copy of the approved plans or typical deck detail must be on the job site and available to the inspector or no inspection will be performed.
When Inspections are Required
Three inspections, conducted by Loudoun County inspectors, are required for a deck:
- Footing Inspection: footing holes are inspected prior to concrete placement.
- Framing Inspection: joists, beams, connections and mechanical attachments are inspected prior to placement of decking.
- Final Inspection: all remaining items are inspected.
The framing and final inspections may be combined if all portions of the deck framing and mechanical attachments are at least 42 inches above grade.
The permit holder or their representative must schedule an inspection when the stages of construction that require an inspection are reached. Inspections must be scheduled one work day in advance.
Based on visual observation, inspectors may request access to the existing house to verify solid ledger attachment.
Common Reasons for Rejection
The most common reasons for rejection of inspections on the construction of a deck are:
- Corrosion-resistant nail and fasteners are not used in pressure-treated material
- Non-compliance with the approved plans or the Loudoun County Typical Deck Detail
- Soil material is inadequate to provide minimum bearing capacity of the footing
- The ledger board is not attached to approved material at the existing house wall
- The ledger board attachment does not comply relative to bolt diameter, spacing and tightening and / or flashing
- The variation in stair risers is greater than the code allowance
Call Building and Development at 703-777-0220, option 1.