(and other stuff that may mess up your day)
Somewhere in the beginning of this whole process, you will want to insure that your local county Zoning folks are not going to prevent you from building your dream deck or porch.
"How can they do that?"
Easy. There is something called "setback requirements" that are different for each area. These setback requirements dictate how close you can come to the rear, side or front property lines.
"Can you give me the setback requirements now?"
You are kidding, right? Because it is government run, the various regulations and stipulations are way too complicated to go into here. But suffice it say that, before you go much further with this project, you will want to call your local Zoning Office first. Just give them your address and explain what you want to build (deck, screen porch, front porch, gazebo) and ask how close you can come to the various property lines.
If it looks like it might be close, ask if there are any exceptions or exemptions to the setback requirements that will allow you to infringe into the setback. I have seen localities that allowed a free standing gazebo or shed to come right up to the property line... and when we made the deck free standing... viola... same thing. I have seen some cases where the stairs could infringe into the setback up to 6'. It doesn't hurt to ask.
"Can you at least give me a phone number?"
Maybe... if you promise to do a real good job filling out the Client Worksheet:
- Fairfax Zoning: 703 222-1082 (open 8am-4pm M-Th; 9:15am-4pm F)
- Loudoun Zoning: 703 777-0397 (open 8am-5pm M-F)
- Prince William Zoning: 703 792-6830 (open 8am-4pm M-F)
- Stafford Zoning: 540 658-8650 (open 8am-4:30pm M-F)
- Spotsylvania Zoning: 540 582-7029 (press #1 and then #2) (open 8am-4:30pm M-F)
- Fredericksburg Zoning: 540 372-1179 (open 8:15am-4:30pm M-F)
- King George Zoning: 540 775-7111 (open 8:30am-4:30pm M-F)
- Montgomery Zoning: 240 777-6660 (open 8:30am-4:30pm M-F)
- Prince George's Zoning: 301 952-3208 (open 8:30am-4:00pm M-F)
- Charles Zoning: 301 645-0540 (open 8:00am-4:30pm M-F)
- St. Mary's Zoning: 301 475-4200 Ext 1500 (open 8:00 am-5pm M-F)
- Calvert Zoning: 410 535-2348 (open 8:30am-4:30pm M-F)
- Anne Arundel Zoning: 410 222-7437 (open 8:00am-4:30pm M-F)
- Howard Zoning: 410 313-2350 (open 8:00am-5:00pm M-F)
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