How to add a deck to your house in Canada?

add a deck to your house

A deck can give you some functional outdoor space. It could be worth the investment if you add a deck because you can use the space for outdoor recreation. Soak up the sun while you read or just enjoy the warm evening. You can also set up a barbeque area or a hot tub if you wish to. You can host parties outdoors and it also increases the value of a home if the deck is built right. Many homebuyers will prefer a deck with their house and the chances of the owner getting a good price is higher. One thing is definite that if you add a deck to your house, it will have quite a few benefits for you. If you live in Canada, here are a few things to consider when building a deck.


In Canada, all municipalities have different rules regarding deck construction and permits. In Ontario, if the deck is above 108 square feet in size or above 2 feet in elevation, you will need a permit.  If you are making structural renovations on an existing deck, then too, you will need a permit. Usually, the permit is needed if the deck is attached to the house and if it is freestanding, then a permit may not be needed. Deck drawings and fees need to be submitted to the appropriate authority for approval. This is an important step as the city will inspect your home once the deck construction is completed.

Deck size

There are certain zoning bylaws that may apply to you in Canada. This is why the square footage of a deck is important. If the deck is four feet off of the ground or if the house foundation is extended for deck construction, then it goes into the square footage of the building.

Building material

Most experienced builders will tell you that the foundation of a deck is made of pressure-treated wood. The railings and veneer are made of cedarwood. If you need to stain the cedar deck, then pre-stain all six sides before installation. Ensure that there is at least a quarter inch gap between each wood piece. It is best to consult with professionals such as for better results.

Planning and design

Plan how you want to go about building the deck you want. Think about the area you need. In summers, the sun can be harsh on the skin, so remember to incorporate the elements of shade into the design. This doesn’t mean you build a solid roof for a gazebo when you decide to add a deck to your house. A shade sail, a retractable awning or a pergola can be added to solve the problem. Consider the furnishings when you design for the floor and walls.


If you are building a free-standing deck, try to use footings that go below the frost line. In Canada, the ground frost can affect the structure – sometimes making it look like a roller coaster rather than a straight deck. The wooden deck will expand and contract as the seasons change so keep that in mind.

Remember that you need to review the rules when doing any kind of addition to an existing deck or building a new one. The laws and bylaws have to be considered if you don’t want to face penalties. You will need to make an application and submit it in person or online to the authorities. Attach the design and drawings when doing this. Be ready for inspections and cooperate with authorities to do things the right way.