Identifying and working with a qualified, licensed deck builder in Washington, D.C., can help you avoid common pitfalls that can plague so many DC homeowners as they attempt to improve the exterior of their homes.
Start your research with a visit to the DCRA Homeowner’s Center to learn about the design review process. From here you can determine the level of review required and what permits you need based on your project and location. Getting a permit reduces any risk of homeowner’s insurance liability and eliminates fines and expenses for illegal construction.
A force to reckon with is the D.C. Historic Preservation law. Under this law any exterior work in historic districts requiring a permit must be approved by the D.C. Historic Preservation Office (HPO). The many historic districts in the city have varying procedures to accommodate neighborhood input on preservation. Over-the-counter review and HPO staff authorization is available for minor work. For major work, like some decks, review is more time-intensive and involves project approval at a monthly D.C. Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) meeting.
While minor repairs and like-replacement of deteriorated exterior building materials do not require HPO site inspection, major work that needs HPRB review is evaluated by staff and neighborhood groups for final approval via the HPRB consent calendar for the following monthly meeting.
Your deck builder knows Washington, D.C. laws, codes, and protocols, and will need to obtain authorization and a permit from the HPRB before beginning work on roof additions or decks visible from any street. But, first floor decks, rear decks or balconies extending above the first floor, and roof decks hidden from street view can be approved by the HPO staff within days provided your deck is a simple structural addition without utilities.
A more complex scope of work will demand supplemental permits for electrical, plumbing, or mechanical plans that can only be obtained from the DCRA Permit Center by your qualified, licensed deck builder in Washington, D.C.
For more information contact Hal Co. Our professional deck builders serve Washington, D.C. clients with almost 40 years of quality deck design and construction experience. Our skilled craftsmen will build you a deck with minimal hassle and beautiful results.