Hello and welcome back! Are you enjoying your summer? Perhaps under a new pergola? Or, have you now put building a pergola on your list of things to do before the summer ends? If so, you are clearly not alone because it has been very busy around here!
If you are wise, you have already considered that you might need to obtain a pergola permit. That should be item number 1 on your to do list for a new pergola whether you will build one on your own or purchase a pergola kit. Our informal survey of cities around the US indicates that about half will require some kind of permit to add a pergola to your yard. This is done through your city building department so check online for how to contact them and see if you need one.
Do not worry if you do – it is really a simple process. You will probably have to pay a small application fee and submit the drawings or plans for your pergola. If they are very strict, they may want to inspect the finished product to make sure it matches what you submitted. These precautions are there to ensure the structure you are building is sturdy & will last through all types of weather and will bear the load of the partial roof.
The more tricky situation to deal with are the requirements of a homeowner’s association. If you don’t live in an area with an HOA – congratulations! If you do, then we can just about guarantee that you will need approval for your new pergola. HOA’s tend to be most concerned with keeping styles and colors consistent with the surrounding structures and also making sure no views are obstructed. HOA’s will want not just drawings of the pergola, but probably also a material list and a plotting map or drawing showing the exact placement of the pergola.
We are not trying to scare you away from the idea of building a pergola! These regulations are not that hard to meet, but you do certainly need to be aware of them and make sure you fulfill them before you get started. You only want to build a pergola once!