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Do I Need a Permit to Build a Pergola or Gazebo?

gazebo in the garden

Depending on where you live, you might need a permit to build a pergola or gazebo. Even if you are building the addition on your private property, you always want to check the local ordinances first. This will ensure that you are abiding by the law in terms of your additional structure.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to know exactly what permits you need to install a pergola or gazebo. To help you out, we have created this guide to understanding permits for these installations. Scroll down to learn what you will need to do to get your pergola or gazebo in compliance.

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Do I Need a Permit to Build a Pergola or Gazebo in My Yard?

Whether or not you need a permit to build a pergola or gazebo depends on where you live. In many cases, both pergolas and gazebos require a permit because they are usually permanent structures. Most permanent structures require permits of some type, even if they are added to your private property.

In fact, there may be multiple permits you have to get to build your pergola or gazebo. You might need planning permits, building permits, water permits, and electrical permits.

But there are some states and communities with lenient building codes. If you live in such a place, you might find no permits required to build a pergola or gazebo.

man holding paper
Image Credit: Piqsels

How to Determine If You Need a Permit

The easiest way to find out what permits you need is to hire a contractor. It’s the contractor’s job to know exactly how to install gazebos and pergolas in a legal way. Most contractors will handle all the permits for you for enhanced convenience, in addition to building the structure.

If you want to install the pergola or gazebo yourself, you will have to do research based on where you live. You can talk to your HOA or with your local permit office. Factors such as the size of the structure, its foundation, material, location, potential running water, and potential electricity are all factors you will need to consider.

As we mentioned above, you will most likely need some sort of permit. Because gazebos and pergolas are large, often permanent structures, most states require a permit of some kind.

man checking a property
Image Credit: SpeedKingz, Shutterstock

What Permits Are Required for Pergolas and Gazebos?

There are four main permits that you might have to get if you are installing a pergola or gazebo in your home: planning, building, water, and electrical. Some individuals may only need the first two permits, whereas others might need all four.

More than likely, you will need a planning and building permit. These permits allow you to plan the structure and build it accordingly. The permit will explain how close the structure can be to your home and other necessary information you need to know.

If you intend to provide running water and electricity to the structure, you will need permits for that as well. If you are adding running water and electricity to the pergola or gazebo, it might be best to get a contractor to ensure everything is done correctly.

Image Credit: Piqsels

How Do I Apply for Pergola or Gazebo Permits?

You can apply for permits in one of two ways. You can contact a contractor to do the job for you. Once again, this will be the easiest option because they will be responsible for handling the specifics of your structure and its permits. You can also apply for permits through your local permit office yourself.

Other Legal Info to Know

If there is a homeowner’s association in your neighborhood, don’t forget to check up on the rules and regulations of that as well. Many HOAs have rules and regulations about adding pergolas, gazebos, and similar structures to your yard. Some organizations may simply limit the structure’s placement in your yard, whereas others may prohibit these additions outright.

Make sure to learn about how close you can put the structure to your home as well. Many areas have proximity limits or specific permits designed if you want to attach the pergola to your home directly. In other words, do as much research as you can based on the design you want to make specifically.

business meeting
Image Credit: Pixabay

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More than likely, you will need a permit to build a pergola or gazebo in your yard, but it is up to your local officials. These structures are typically permanent, which explains why permits are required. You can get a contractor or contact your local permits office to learn what permits are required in your area specifically. Don’t forget to contact your HOA, either.

If you are having difficulty adding a structure to your home due to some permit or legal technicality, contact a contractor. A contractor may have an idea for adding a similar structure to your home while it is still in accordance with the laws of the area.

Related Read: Do I Need a Permit to Build a Shed? What You Need To Know!

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay


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