11:57 PM 04/25/2012
We're planning on building a deck off our parlor floor and have some questions. I've read a lot on this forum about filing permits and how it depends on the neighborhood. We're in Bed Stuy and a lot of our neighbors have decks (and extensions) that are not to code. The rest just have empty lots, so there isn't much activity in the back. Is it too much of a risk to not file a permit? If we did a steel deck to code it would be significantly more money, which is why we're going back and forth about this. Also, is it correct that the deck can be no more than 8' long (not incl stairs)? Thanks as always...
I am not sure about the deck having to be 8' or less. What I do know is that a both a wooden deck and steel deck are to code. However when you go with a wood deck you have to be 3 feet from away from the property next to you. Being that you probably live in an attached house in Bed Stuy this will limit your design since the deck will have to be centered. Metal and wood decks are similar in price though. People go with wood because they generally like it more. Regarding permits if nobody complains to the DOB you are fine; they won’t just come knocking on your door. Someone would have to call 311 and complain. Sort of a gamble. FYI barely any decks in Bed Stuy have been filled for.
1:11 AM 04/26/2012 | 0 Votes
Just get a permit and be safe. It will not take that long.
4:22 AM 04/26/2012 | 0 Votes
Everyhting adamc said is correcdt. The 8' depends upon your lot size and position of the house on the lot. I built mine with steel superstructure and wood decking up to the 3' line on either side. it was built to code and not filed. You may have problems in sellling your house if it doesn't meet code (if the inspector catches it and the buyers want compensation) but you won't if it does but is not permitted. Like he said, 99% of decks in Bed Stuy are not permitted, 95% probably don't meet code and those statistics for all of Brooklyn are probably 90% and 85%!!!!!
7:57 AM 04/26/2012 | 0 Votes
The extra money you spend up front on drawings and permits will save you a ton of headache later on. It only takes one fire or one deck collapse or one angry neighbor to wipe out the savings of having an unpermitted deck.
11:01 AM 04/26/2012 | 0 Votes
we built an illegal deck in park slope approx 15 years ago it was no problem when we di the work and no problem when we sold the apartment. now a lightning bolt will probably hit me, or the B69 bus.
11:04 AM 04/26/2012 | 1 Votes
We are doing this to code now. From my understanding (we had pros doing the drawings and filing), the width depends on doors...more doors means you can have a wider deck. I think it can't go beyond 8 feet from a door. Most of the deck-related reg's are DOB so they apply to all of the city.
Like you, we have many neighbors with non-to-code decks. They are beautiful, all wood, huge things. What kills me is that none of them use their decks! I'm in our backyard a lot and of the 4 decks I can easily see, I've seen them use it to access their yards a few times a year and that's it. We had one in our last apartment and used it all the time. You should spend some time really thinking about how much you will actually use it to help decide how much money and effort (as in doing it to code or building something big) you want to put into it. If you really just want access to the yard, you can probably easiy make it to code and not so large that it takes tons of materials (and $$).
12:21 PM 04/26/2012 | 0 Votes
We did a permitted deck to code as a part of our reno in south slope. We needed DOB and landmarks approvals anyway, so it made sense for us. Dave's approach may be better if you're not otherwise messing with DOB. We did a metal deck with ipe planking on top of the grating. My understanding is that there has been back and forth on whether ipe counts as fire proof, but we didn't want to have to put on shoes when heading outdoors. There are a couple of code provisions to consider, one that requires you leave a certain amount of open space between the end of the deck and the rear lot line, along with the 8' provision. Finally, I'd say the decks on our block get a lot of use, probably more than the gardens proper - it helps to be above the inevitable horde of mosquitos.
12:29 PM 04/26/2012 | 0 Votes
The 8 foot has two implications. The first is that a deck is allowed to extend into the 30 foot required yard by 8 feet, reducing the rear yard to 22 feet. The second is that if you have more than a 30 foot rear yard, you can extend more than the 8 feet, but you will need to include it as lot coverage. You are probably allowed to cover 60% of your lot, so add the size of the deck to the size of your ground floor (assuming there are no significant overhangs above the ground floor) and divide by the lot area to get lot coverage.
Jim Hill, RA, LEED AP
Urban Pioneering Architecture
1:37 PM 04/26/2012 | 1 Votes
We live in Bed Stuy and we're filing because nobody else on the block has decks. We're doing the drawing and just having it stamped and filed.
5:56 PM 04/26/2012 | 0 Votes
bottom line if there is a fire and you have to go out the deck do you want wood or steel? Decks can go up in a flash is that what you want for your safety?
11:38 PM 04/26/2012 | -1 Votes
If there is a fire and it hits our deck, the wood would go up more quickly but the steel might be too hot to walk on anyway - and since steel frames with wood treads are legal, isn't that a fire risk anyway? can you walk on burning wood even with a steel frame intact? and what if your house is brick, limestone and brownstone other than the wood deck, with an inherited sprinkler system for a multi-family home? is that any protection? all the decks I see out my back yard are illegal wood (illegal because too close to our tiny property lines), including ours which came with the house, other than our elderly neighbors' porch/deck which is cement and very ugly and utilitarian but which works for them so is fine - it's cement with metal or cement stairs down to a rock garden which they never go to. very fire-safe but their house itself isn't brownstone, it's made of less fire-safe materials. so really isn't some of this arbitrary?
2:14 PM 06/19/2012 | 0 Votes