Nashville Deck & Porch Building Codes: What You Do and Don't Need To Know

Making the jump and adding an outdoor living space to your Nashville-area home can be an exhilarating experience. Not only are you excited about getting your new space, you may also be concerned about all the logistics that come into play in bringing your deck or porch to completion.

Nashville Deck & Porch Building Codes

Building codes are essential for knowing what type of outdoor structures require a permit, how to submit a proper building plan to get a permit, what points during construction require an inspection, and the specifics of how to build a safe deck or porch. Knowing the building codes may sound simple until you begin to do your research. Did you know that town, county and state building codes differ? That’s right. The same codes that are required to build a deck or porch in Brentwood differ greatly than those required in Lebanon, Mount Juliet or even Nashville?!

Just to prove the complexity of required codes try a Google search for your local deck and porch building codes. What did you find? Was it difficult to navigate your city’s website? Did you find deck and porch building codes specifically or just a very long set of residential building codes that only mentioned a deck or porch once, or not at all? Most likely, you may have found the permitting information, but not the detailed instructions about codes or requirements.

Nashville Deck & Porch Building Inspections


— Look at these deck footings, definitely not built according to code and very unsafe!

If you do find your city’s deck building codes, the plot thickens and you will quickly find out that they are long and cumbersome and require the knowledge and experience of a licensed builder in order to understand. You’ll also find out that you need an inspection at least three times during the building process. The first inspection will be after your footings are dug, but before concrete is poured. The second inspection will be of the framing and lastly, you’ll have a final inspection. Some inspectors may require additional inspections of items such as electrical or plumbing, too!


— Nolensville, TN, deck and porch addition by Archadeck of Nashville

To The DIY’er … Err on the side of caution

To any do-it-yourselfer or weekend warrior that takes on a deck or porch addition, we admire and commend your efforts. Keep in mind that bringing the outdoor living structure of your dreams to life is more than a weekend project. In order to construct a safe structure for you and your family, there are many hurdles that will have to be crossed. These include HOA approvals, learning setbacks, permitting, materials lists, codes and inspections. Did you know that many municipalities charge per re-inspection after the structure has failed for the same issue more than twice? Yes — just getting additional inspections can become a costly expenditure for the DIY’er.

Building Requirements for Compliance

Just as we mentioned above, each town or municipality varies in their building requirements. And some elements of your deck or porch construction are dictated by the zoning district where your home is located. Together they will provide the following specific requirements:

• Setback requirements: How far from the property line decks need to be.
• Footing depth.
• Materials: Certain materials require specific hardware for safety.
• Column and post size and construction requirements.
• Railings.
• Stairways and handrails.
• The various requirements around utility meters and lines.
• Deck and porch load strength: how much weight it can hold.
• Roof tie-in requirements.
• Easements and impervious requirements such as water runoff

At Archadeck of Nashville, we handle all permits and inspections. We are well versed in all deck and porch building codes. We stay up-to-the-minute with any changes to the codes and have long-standing relationships with many of the local building inspectors. The hassle of permits, inspections, and building codes is one of the best reasons to hire a professional deck and porch contractor like us. Let us focus on meeting and exceeding codes for the safety and quality of your new outdoor structure so you can focus your excitement on enjoying it — Let us sweat the hard stuff!

You can reach us at the phone number on the right, or send us an email at [email protected].
We look forward to working with you!

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