Decks are unenclosed and unroofed platform structures, usually attached to the rear or side external wall of a building and used as accessory to the building for recreational activities or to provide a transition for access between the building and the outdoors. Located at or below the floor level of the first story above a cellar or basement, decks may be constructed of various materials and assemblies such as wood, concrete and metal.
Porches are typically unenclosed and unroofed areas located along the exterior wall of a building at the first floor above grade level entrance to a building. A small awning above a porch may be provided for weather protection. A porch may offer extra useable space for chairs or benches, tables, plants, and other outdoor furnishings.
Deck and porch installations typically involve the following elements:
Foundation – concrete, deck blocks or pressure treated wood piers
Posts – wood, metal, concrete or brick (including anchors/connectors to the foundation)
Girders, beams, blocking and floor planks for the walking surface
Anchorage to the building
Railings and/or protective guards, typically consisting of posts, handrails and balusters
Steps (including a landing pad).
In order for a porch to be a permitted obstruction in a required yard, it must be unenclosed and unroofed. When porches are located outside of a required yard, their maximum allowed enclosure is viewed in the context of roofed terraces in applying floor area, per ZR 12-10. Screened-in porches are considered to be enclosed and therefore, count as zoning floor area.
Decks and porches require a construction work permit and only a NYS licensed Professional Engineer (PE) or Registered Architect (RA) may submit the required construction documents for approval.
The installation of a deck or porch may be submitted as a Renovation project or as part of an associated New Building or Alteration project.
Any construction work that results in changes of an existing building that requires the issuance of an amended or new Certificate of Occupancy will not be considered a Renovation project and instead, must be submitted as an Alteration project.
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