Building a deck requires deck permits to ensure safety and compliance

Nobody loves summer quite like Canadians! After long and harsh winters, the people of the Great White North are more than ready for lazy days in their backyard, burgers off the grill, and spending time poolside during June, July, and August. Right now, many Canadians are considering building a deck to better enjoy the summer with family and friends. A tasteful backyard deck can add more living space to your home, increasing the value of your property. But building a deck is no simple task. For any homeowner that is considering adding a deck to their property, they should first research how to properly acquire a deck permit. Building a deck in Canada without a proper deck permit can be troublesome. It can result in significant fines or potential litigation should someone seriously hurt themselves on an improperly built deck. More importantly, a deck permit ensures that your new deck is safely constructed and adheres to all local bylaws and regulations.

Building a deck in Canada: Building materials and costs to consider

There are many different materials available to build a new deck. Your final decision will hinge on your budget, your city's climate, maintenance costs, and visual appeal.

Pressure-treated wood

A highly affordable option that is incredibly resistant to mould, rot, insects, and cold weather. Homeowners will enjoy the great aesthetics that come with a natural wood deck alongside reduced maintenance costs. Pressure-treated wood is also the perfect option for homeowners who wish to construct a deck on their own.

Composite deck materials

These blend plastic and wood to offer a more affordable option that requires very little maintenance. Composite deck materials come in multiple colours that can match the aesthetic of your home. They remain resilient to harsh winter weather too. However, these types of materials require regular cleaning to prevent the build-up of mould and mildew.

Natural wood

This offers a classic feel to your backyard and is available in many options including cedar, redwood, or tropical hardwood. These materials are considered highly durable and can withstand Canadian climates. However, they require regular maintenance including pressure washing and resealing. Specialty hardwoods can be very expensive depending on which type of wood you choose but they come with high aesthetic appeal.


A great option that can match the aesthetic of a backyard pool but lacks the charm of traditional wood decks. These decks are remarkably easy to maintain and still remain cool in the midst of hot summer weather. Aluminum deck prices can vary but they are considered one of the more expensive options.


This is one of the most durable options and likely the best choice for homeowners that experience harsh winter weather. Choose from a variety of colours to match the rest of your home or yard.


These decks can give your backyard some great visual appeal. There are many varieties of stone to choose from. Stone decks do need regular maintenance and require a special coating to ensure decks aren’t slippery during summers. Stone decks could also crack under extreme cold weather and could need repairs over time. Decks are a great way to increase the value of a property. Depending on the size and materials required for the project, a proper deck could cost a homeowner well over $5,000. For specialty decks constructed with exotic wood or other materials, homeowners could pay over $10,000. Larger and more complex deck construction jobs cost over $20,000.

Components required for building a deck

A deck adhering to your city’s permits and regulations comes with a surprising amount of complexity. The components of a properly built deck include:


These act as the structural framework that is beneath the deck. They run the opposite way of the deck boards they support.


Laid perpendicular to the joists, these support the deck framing and contribute to the support of the structure.


These are used to support the deck's beams, lifting the structure off the ground.

Guards and railings

Required around the deck and its staircase to ensure people do not fall off the structure itself.


The concrete anchors that support the deck's posts. Local bylaws determine the proper depth of these footings.


These are used as the surface space in which people walk or sit on a deck.


Drainage systems are required for most decks to ensure that water doesn’t pool up and cause damage to the deck’s components.


These hold the structural components together. Decorative caps can be used to hide the screw heads used to attach the boards.


Stairs are part of most traditional decks and they require an experienced contractor to install them properly.

Book a home inspection with the professionals at AmeriSpec

AmeriSpec home inspections can help homeowners and homebuyers make informed decisions regarding homes with decks. While AmeriSpec home inspectors can advise on the safety of a deck, they can not advise on whether or not a deck adheres to local bylaws. Homeowners and homebuyers will need to consult with local bylaw offices to ensure their deck is code compliant or built with a permit. Make the best decision for all parties with Canada’s leading home inspection service provider, AmeriSpec. FIND AN INSPECTOR