The project lifecycle of a home deck renovation can be a DIY endevour or require a contractor, depending on the details. With that said, an outdoor home deck is a great way to merge the indoor living spaces of your house with the house’s backyard. Installing or renovating a deck can also help to increase the property value of your Canadian home as it’s essentially extending your home outwards. 

If you’re considering renovating a home deck on your property in Canada, it’s important to understand the procedures and regulations involved before building one. In addition, you must also choose between renovating a home deck yourself or hiring a general contractor. Read below to learn more about the project lifecycle of a home deck renovation and the procedures involved. 

REGULATIONS AND PERMITS INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS

Depending on the type of work being done to create the deck, permits and certain regulations must be adhered to. If your outdoor home deck renovation plan is just repainting and cleaning, you likely do not require any permit and are free to go ahead. However, most municipalities require a building permit for new deck installations and any work which affects the framing or structural support. For example, in Toronto a detached deck may not require a building permit:

In other cases, the regulations may affect you simply because of how your land is zoned, as seen in this Vancouver example:

 

Sometimes it can be based on your specific city or the complexity of the project. You should search for the specific regulations that are imposed by the local regulatory government that you pay taxes to. 

If your situation does require a building permit for your deck to be installed, your mind is going to start wondering about how much a building permit costs? In the case of Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada, there is a fixed rate based on the estimated cost of the deck. We have quoted their documentation below; however, always check the Halifax government official website to confirm:

“The permit fee to construct a deck is based on $5.50 per $1000.00 of the estimated value of your project with a minimum fee of $25.00 and a Development Permit fee of $25.00. Depending on the complexity of your project, additional fees may be required.”

As part of your application for a building permit, each municipality is going to have its own rules. At a high level, you will have to provide the following:

  • drawings of the deck which are prepared by a qualified designer or engineer. You must provide additional documentation which outlines details on footing sizes and column details. 
  • A site plan is also required which shows the property lines and shows that the proposed work does not extend beyond lot areas. For more specifics, contact your local municipality to see what other information they may need. 

SKILL SETS REQUIRED FOR THE JOB

Regardless of whether you choose to perform a DIY or hired renovation, it’s important to understand the project lifecycle and determine the skills required to complete the project. For a home deck renovation, the homeowner must first create a project outline and determine the vision for the deck. This is a great time to engage your project management team at BeyondPrograms.ca to help you navigate the project from planning through to completion.

From here, we should consider the type of deck you are planning to create. Decks can be constructed of a range of materials including

  • Wood
  • Aluminum 
  • Vinyl
  • Concrete
  • Tiles
  • Stone
  • Steel

In a situation where the deck is being extended or the foundations are affected, a building permit application must be submitted. Municipal technicians will review the plans and visit the site to ensure that all code requirements are adhered to. Someone on your team needs to be knowledgeable enough to navigate this process. Consider that for major deck renovation projects, the builder must:

Plan

  • Conceptualize goal and set the scope
  • Design deck
  • Engage technical experts
  • Acquire permits and adhere to any applicable regulations

Break Ground

  • dig holes for new foundations
  • set the footers
  • install the ledger board
  • install the foundation posts 
  • reinforce the structure with beams and joists. 

Install architectural details e,g

  • decking foundation e.g. boards
  • Stairs
  • Railings
  • sealant 

Your builder will need skills relative to the level of deck renovations that are required. They will also need to communicate all of the above work to City officials in order to adhere to requirements. As the details of your home deck renovation project increases in complexity, the level of skills requiring for a successful outcome also increases. 

DIY VS HIRING A GENERAL CONTRACTOR

If your home deck renovation project is one that requires substantial changes to the deck or requires work on the foundation footings, it is best to hire a general contractor. Contractors who are able to perform the work can quickly be found through a quick google search. However, skilled contractors who have years of experience and a strong understanding of the work can often be found by 

  • looking up the municipality’s recommended contractor list on their website
  • Hardware stores often have their own list of verified contractors that you can speak with and interview
  • At BeyondPrograms we verify each partner. We also collect customer reviews from each engagement with contractors. We constantly evolve and refine our software algorithms to help us better choose service providers based on performance

For a smaller deck renovation project, homeowners can save money by taking on the project themselves. There are many tutorials online which show how to perform deck renovations, from replacing decking boards to installing railings. With some basic handyman skills, homeowners can find all the relevant information online and perform small home deck renovations by themselves. 

CONCLUSION

Renovating or installing a home deck into your home can be a great addition for your family and can also help to raise your home’s price. Working on a home deck requires some serious planning, budgeting and knowledge in order to do so. Many municipalities require permits and licenses before you can work on the foundation of your home deck. Depending on the job, you can hire a general contractor to work on your home deck or do it yourself. Regardless, a home deck is a great addition to any home and well worth the planning.  

There is a lot to consider when planning a home deck renovation project. Depending on the size of the change, land zoning, what exactly is being changed, etc, you will need to involve a few technical experts and regulatory bodies. With lumber costs returning to their regular pricing, this is a great time to consider making a change. Our team at Beyond Programs can help you during the planning and execution phases of your renovation project. Contact us today to discuss

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Talha Queshi, MSc, PMP

Taha is a Mechanical Engineer who has over 10 years of experience in the construction industry. He has worked on all types of projects in the residential and commercial building sector. Taha has worked as a project manager to help ensure that construction projects are successfully completed within the schedule and budget. Taha writes about the construction lifecycle, improvements that can be made and the importance of proper project management techniques during construction.

Noble Hurst BSc, PMP, ITIL

Over 15 years of experience from the US and Canada from startups to Fortune 500 companies. I bring decades of experience from a range of industries including technology, film, construction, marketing, and logistics.

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