Answers to what you should be aware of...
Do I need a permit for a deck?
Most municipalities require one.
With a permit, the municipality will inspect the deck for compliance with the Ontario Building Code (OBC). This ensures a sound, safe structure which should last for decades. Unfortunately, not every deck builder understands the OBC, and while their workmanship may be excellent, the deck may be unsafe.
Building a Deck or Porch in Barrie
A deck is an uncovered platform, freestanding or attached to a dwelling.
A porch is a covered entrance to a dwelling that is either enclosed or unenclosed.
Decks and porches require building permits unless they are less than 10m2 (107ft2) in size and not attached to the building or located at an entrance.
Residential properties are subject to 45 per cent maximum lot coverage. Lot coverage is the percentage of the total lot area covered by all of the buildings, including porches and decks. Decks less than 1.75 (5.9ft.) above grade shall be exempted from lot coverage restrictions.
Decks and porches cannot be constructed on easements. However, you may be able to have the easement released. Contact the Legal and Real Estate Services Branch for more information.
Zoning Standards For Decks And Porches
|Location||Minimum Distance from Lot Line|
|Front Yard||3m (9.8ft.)|
|Interior Side Yard||0.60m (2ft.)|
|Exterior Side Yard (Corner Lots)||1.5m (4.9ft.)|
|Rear Yard Deck||0.60m (2ft.) Deck|
|Rear Yard Porch||5m (16.4ft) Porch|
|Rear Yard (Coner Lots)||1m (3.2ft.)|
Do I need a permit for a fence?
Building a Fence in Barrie
- In new plans of subdivision the installation of fences should not be installed until all grading and sodding has been completed on adjacent lots and has been certified by the developer's engineer. Please check with your builder prior to starting this project.
- No permit is required to construct a fence unless it is intended to protect a pool or spa/hot tub.
- Fences should not interfere with drainage swales along property lines.
- The fence can be any type or style (excluding electric or barbed wire), with no restriction which way the "Good Side" faces.
- The municipality does not require cost sharing between neighbours. For inquires regarding cost sharing dispute resolution of a boundary fence under the Line Fences Act please contact the Clerks Department at 705-739-4241.
Is a fence required for a pools, spa or hot tub?
A pool or spa/hot tub capable of holding water with a depth greater than 0.45m (18") is required to be enclosed by a fence or in the case of a spa/hot tub may be protected by a cover to prevent the accidental drowning of small children.
Zoning Standards For Fences
|Location||Minimum Distance From Lot Line||Maximum Height*|
|Front Yard||0.30m (1ft.) from front lot line only||1m (3.2ft.)|
|Interior Side Yard||No Requirement||2m (6.5ft)|
|Exterior Side Yard (Corner Lots)||0.30m (1ft.)||2m (6.5ft)|
|Rear Yard||No Requirement||2m (6.5ft)|
|Rear Yard (Corner Lots)||0.30m (1ft.)||2m (6.5ft)|
* 0.30m (1ft.) setback required from all lot-lines which abut a street.
* Fence height is measured from the top of the fence, excluding posts, to the average grade height for a section of fence.
City of Barrie Building Services: 70 Collier Street, 8th Floor
Phone: (705) 739-4212 Fax: (705) 739-4240 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
What type of wood can I use for a fence or a deck?
Cedar is a natural outdoor wood that is easy to work with, resistant to twisting, cracking and
shrinkage, and has a gorgeous colour. Cedar should be stained or painted every few years. This is
our favourite material. Pressure treated wood is a cheaper material that has been chemically
treated with special chemicals (that give it the distinctive greenish colour) to preserve the
Most manufacturers of pressure treated wood warrant it against rot and damage by insects for 40 years. Unfortunately, this material is subject to twisting, cracking and shrinkage. Pressure treated wood however, needs little or no maintenance and will last 25 to 30 years.
Hardwoods such as pau lope and Ipe (also known as Ironwood) are new to decks, becoming popular only in the last few years. They are extremely hard, resistant to wear, and very long lasting. They are however, hard to work with, and cannot be nailed. Every connection must be drilled and screwed, thus increasing labour costs. The end result, however, is usually spectacular.
Composites are not, strictly speaking, wood. They come in a variety of materials and from dozens of manufacturers. There is pure polystyrene, resin, reclaimed wood fibre, plastic, fibreglass, carbon fibre, wood fibre mixed with plastic, even steel framing. Manufacturers include Trex, forever wood, Nexwood, Ezdeck, Dexx, Endeck, and many more. We would be glad to discuss their relative merits.
How deep should footings for a deck be? For a fence?
4 feet for a deck, 3' 6" for a fence, at minimum.
How much does a deck cost?
Deck prices can vary over a considerable range: size, materials, complexity, details,
difficulty in digging or gaining access; uneven terrain, ground conditions, removal of old decks,
patios, bushes, landscaping, rocks or boulders; and weather. Even parking (how far away from the
site) can affect the costs of a deck. An upper level deck with 12 to 16 steps can cost more than a
lower level deck.
Railings, planters, benches, split levels, skirts, pergolas, type and direction of floor boards, whether the decking is screwed or nailed down, type of materials, size and shape.
We will be happy to come and give you an estimate.