Frequently Asked Questions about Deck Construction

Do I need a permit?

  • All decks require a building permit.

How do I obtain a permit?

  • Provide a plot plan showing where the deck is going on your house with dimensions to the property line (be as exact as possible) to Scott County Planning and Development
  • In addition to the plot plan, provide a building plan with the size of the deck - the dimensions of the lumber and the location of the posts and beams should also be submitted.
  • For Single Family Residential Uncovered Deck and Porches building guide, go to http://www.illowaicc.org
    • Click on Downloads & Handouts
    • Click on link associated with Decks

How big should the footings be?

  • Footings for all decks that do not have roofs over them should be 12 inches in diameter and 42 inches in depth and inspected prior to pouring the concrete. Decks with roofs require different standards.

Do I need guardrails on my deck?

  • All decks over 30 inches above grade require a guardrail system to be installed with the top railing being a minimum of 36 inches above the deck level. Spindles should be placed with spacing 4 inches maximum in between spindles.

Do I need steps from my deck to the ground?

  • Only if there is not another exit from your house. One exit is all that is required from a single-family dwelling.

If you have any other questions on deck construction in Scott County, feel free to call the Scott County Building Inspector at (563) 326-8643.

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