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Do You Need a Permit to Lay Concrete in Your Backyard?

Do You Need a Permit to Lay Concrete in Your Backyard?

The giddiness sets in.

There’s that good feeling of renovating your house or installing a patio. It can be so exciting that you may start construction without doing proper research.

Then comes the dreaded question: “Do you even need a permit to lay concrete?

Should you go ahead hoping the law would take it lightly or should you get down to checking the proper places to know? Getting a permit is complicated is it’s important to check for the laws that apply to your location. Resist the urge to skip the permitting process entirely, though; you might end up getting punished for it.

Generally, if you are making any construction plans (including laying concrete in your backyard), you have to check with the local authorities in charge beforehand.

Obtaining a permit is important before proceeding with any remodeling but, before that, you need lots of information, for example, Zoning and Property Information, Design and Drawing Plans, which need to be submitted to the “Building & Safety” Permitting Section (every city has one) and then go from there onward to getting plans approved and a Permit issued and then proceed to Construction and Final Inspection.

Straight down this article and you’ll discover yourself. Read on to find out.

Is it Necessary to Get a Permit to Lay Concrete in Your Backyard?

It’s complicated.


Permits vary by state and city. Therefore, it’s essential to check in with your state construction rules. You may need a permit if the concrete is used in your project construction, Irrespective of the concrete quantity or construction size.

Yes, you do need a permit. If you are starting any project that requires structural additions or alterations to your floor plan, you will have to obtain a permit for it. Although, if you plan to lay concrete less than 30 inches above grade, you will most likely not need a permit.

Don’t be tempted to believe that your contractor should take care of any necessary permit. As a building owner, you must be aware of everything concerning your building process. If your contractor forgets to get a permit, your construction will suffer for it; not your contractor’s construction.

The size of your backyard would determine if you need a permit or not. If your backyard project is considered above-grade (that’s more than 30 inches above adjacent grade), you will need a permit. Hiring a contractor is as crucial as knowing the regulations that govern your building project.

You see, state or local construction rules are guiding the use of concrete to ensure safety. Therefore, even before starting any project, you should check in with your state or local construction rules.

Why enforce this law?

Getting a permit is the only way for local or state officials to know what you’re building in your backyard if it is safe and whether there should be some restrictions. You can’t just proceed to build what you want on your property because you own it.

One of the problems with choosing to lay concrete in your yard without a permit is that the local officials will eventually find out and you will pay a hefty fine.

In some cases, the magnitude of the area you plan to lay the concrete over determines if the permit is needed or not.

So, the permit may not be necessary for small projects like footings for fence posts, fixing small cracks, or installing small concrete pads.

However, large projects that are 30 inches above adjacent grade( above-grade) or covering 200 square feet. Projects like building foundation construction, many walkways, and parking space.

Let’s dive into the requirements needed for the concrete driveway and patio. They prove to be the most erected concrete structure in backyards.

  • Concrete driveway: Height is an important factor to determine whether you’ll need a permit to renovate or construct a concrete driveway, the limit alters to only 30 inches above grade (762 mm). Width is often restricted to 18 feet except for turnarounds.

 A concrete driveway with a permit has to be more than 30 inches above grade and more than 18 feet wide.

  • Concrete patio: You don’t need a permit if the concrete patio you’re building is on grade, that is, less than 30 inches from the ground. However, if the concrete patio you’re building is above grade, you will need a permit. Other cases where a permit may be required are if you’re located in an area with development restrictions. Some external structural changes can also interfere, for example, covers and lighting.

Can You Put Concrete in Your Backyard?

It depends on the state or city you reside in. If the area is over 200 square feet, you may need a license. Most individuals think hiring a contractor is all you need when renovating or redesigning your backyard.

As a house owner, you should check with the local authorities beforehand. But with the right plan, a permit, and avoid contractor, you can pour concrete in your backyard to build a beautiful patio.

Poured concrete patio significantly reduces spaces and cracks that can lead to weed growth and insect infestations. It’s a big job to pour a patio properly and for more quality, hire a better contractor that would create a design you’ll love.

What Can Happen if You Pour Concrete Without Permission?

Nothing worth getting a sanction for.

If you pour concrete without permission, you will face certain consequences that include compromising your safety, a retroactive permit cost, and a heavy fine (the city can and will fine you for it).

You will face serious consequences from the local or state official If you skip the process of obtaining a permit for a required project.

Before we go any further, let’s bring in the neighbors’ issue. Don’t be surprised that a neighbor who knows you started a project without permission may report to the local or state officials.

Also, if you lay concrete in your backyard and this project destroys your neighbor’s property or puts their lives in danger, they can press charges.

Permits are not intended to frustrate or make you miserable. It is there to keep checks and protect the lives of the citizens that could be at risk if buildings’ protocols are not followed.

Although these consequences vary from state to state and some of them include:

1. Paying a huge fine

The local/state officials can and will levy expensive fines on work without a permit, if you’re caught after the work is complete, they will find you and make it a requirement for you to get a proper permit.

2. Retroactive permit cost

This means obtaining a permit after the construction has finished. You won’t have to knock down the entire structure and start from scratch. The state will likely require you to open up certain parts, but not all, of the construction and show that it was built according to plan and the state building code.

3. Insurance

Your insurance company might refuse to pay for any damages caused by work without a permit. Imagine, if your unpermitted concrete patio collapses and causes a serious injury to a visitor. your house owner policy may not cover the liability.

4. Affected resale value

You may face difficulty selling your building or you have to sell it for a discount. The seller will be required to fill out a form on which you must make known any unpermitted work. If you fail to disclose anything, the buyer can later sue you for damages.

5. Difficulty in financing your building

To get a loan to finance your house, your appraisal won’t reflect unpermitted work, so you won’t be able to get a loan on your full house value.

These permits are not there to make you miserable or to thwart your effort to build your dream house, they are in place to make people follow building protocols, which when not followed, accidents can happen which put the lives of occupants and neighbors in danger.

What is the Importance of Getting Your Permit?

As so much as why, or the reason majority get permits is because of the law. No, you do not simply get your permit to obey the rules.

Much more than obeying the rule, a permit is issued to confirm that your project is safe and not harmful to your neighbor and other people close to you.

A permit additionally signifies that your plan is environmentally friendly and comfy.

Getting a permit additionally guarantees that your building is within the right location, imagine you dig a neighborhood with electricity cables and underground gas pulse. this will be risky, unsafe, and unfortunate.

A permit informs you about this and prevents any disaster.

Do You Need a Permit To Build a Concrete Slab or Patio?

As mentioned earlier, you want to carry out research before starting a concrete project.

Regardless of whether or not you are building a concrete terrace, concrete driveways, or maybe a concrete planter border. Your local/state rules would possibly need you to possess a permit.

So, does one need a permit to build a concrete slab?

Well, it depends.

The size of the concrete slab determines if you’ll need a permit or not.

Is your planned concrete slab less than 30 inches on top of the grade? If so, you’re in luck – you’ll possibly not need a license, though you would possibly have to be compelled to pull an  excavation permit (this is often to confirm you will be digging within the close space  of underground utility pipes or cables.) It might change if you will add a roof or wall to your concrete slab.

Getting a permit varies on certain key factors like local size limit for patios, local restrictions on development, or environmental protection zones. But a concrete slab or patio usually does not require any permit unless there are excavation concerns. Always check with the local authority before starting work on any project.

Regardless of the dimensions of your concrete block, you have got to ascertain first with the state or local official before kick-starting the construction.

Should You or the Builder Get the Permit?

When starting a project, you have to determine whether you will need a building permit from your city or county; in most states, the person who pulls the permit is responsible for construction following the code.

On the other hand, if the contractor is billing by the hour, you might save money by finishing the permit paperwork and submitting it yourself. The scope and complexity of the project will help you decide the best method to work with the city and obtain a permit.

You can get the builder to obtain the permit, but it’s your responsibility as a house owner to ensure that the permit is obtained before commencing any work. Obtaining a permit is essential to avoid building in the wrong location which can be unsafe and disastrous.

How Close to My Property Line Can I Pour Concrete?

It’s best to check in with the state construction rules for this aspect. The property setback rules assist you to know your property boundaries. But for any construction project in your backyard that involves concrete, it ought to be allotted a minimum of 18 inches far from your house and a minimum of fifteen inches far from the house behind.

For an outsized project that involves covering your entire yard or most of it, you’ll want a permit and an inspection to be conducted to verify if your gas pipes are square measure safe from attainable leaks. The inspection can conclude how safe your project won’t destroy your neighbor’s property.

Does this question cross your mind: How am I able to acquire a permit?

Although the method is cumbersome and time-consuming, it’s worth it.

The individual who pulls the permit is liable for the concrete backyard project. It means if you rent a professional or contractor for the project, it’s their responsibility to get the permit. however, if it is a  DIY project, you get the permit yourself.

The typical steps to getting a permit are:

1. Completing a permit application

Preparing a  site arrangement for the project. If your project is extensive, you’ll probably have to be compelled to rent an expert to draw the project as it will be constructed.

2. Scheduling a meeting for plan approval

The plan review may be fast or slow. the method is slow if the city requires corrections and reviews.

3. Getting the permit

In cases wherever a permit is important, you’ll need to acquire a permit to begin construction on the project.

4. Scheduling inspections

In the process of construction, you would like to schedule  inspections  throughout the process so that the officials can ensure you’re acting according to your

Complete your project and get the final city approval.

Keep in mind that this process may vary between cities

Do You Need a Permit To Pour Concrete in California?

Yes, if you wish to enclose a patio in California, you will need a permit if the addition exceeds 120 sq ft. Under California’s Building Code of 2002, Section 106.3(15) states that a building permit is not mandated for pouring concrete, platforms walks and driveways less than 30 inches (762mm) over grade and not extending over a basement or story below, therefore the driveway construction is not regulated by the building code.

However, you might need a permit to pour concrete with an extension outside of the property line to city property or make any other size of concrete that doesn’t fall into the categories mentioned earlier.

Do You Need a Permit To Pour Concrete in Florida?

Yes, you do. A building permit is needed anytime an accessory structure is built or installed on your property. Section 105.1 of the Florida Building Code, permits are required for, but not limited to: buildings/structures, renovations, service systems, gas, plumbing, mechanical/air conditioning, electrical, roofing, fences, tree removals, awnings, windows, doors, signs, antennas, poles, pools, fuel tanks, surfaces (concrete driveways, patio areas, walkways, etc.).

In Florida, building codes mostly focus on safety considerations caused by humidity and heat. These permits help the local authority ensure that your building plan meets all the city’s construction and development standards.

You might also need a concrete business license and a contractor or subcontractors state license to provide concrete services in some states.

Do You Need a Permit To Pour Concrete in Texas?

Generally, in Texas, a building permit is needed for work involving structural elements of a building. You will need a permit and a pre-pour inspection. You also have to apply for a permit before the commencement of any construction. If you hire a contractor, the contractor has to apply for a permit.

This is a good idea because the person who pulls the permit is responsible for construction following the code. If you get the permit, you will be considered the contractor (at least in the city’s eyes) and liable if there is a construction issue.

Contractors are also often familiar with the procedure and the city’s inspectors. The contractor’s preexisting relationship with the local authorities can work to your benefit.


As a house owner or contractor, it’s not yours to choose if the concrete backyard needs a permit although it’d appear uncalled-for, long, and complex.

The decision depends on your local authorities.

Before you kickstart construction of any concrete backyard project, please make sure to check in with your native authorities and building construction rules.

A permit might not be required for projects like fixing little cracks or putting in concrete pads.

But you’ll need a permit if your use of concrete exceeds thirty inches above grade.