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Dear PoP – Deck Options

by Prince Of Petworth February 23, 2010 at 2:30 pm 18 Comments

Deck Duck?
Photo by PoPville flickr user Tyrannous.

“Dear PoP,

I’m in the market to expand the landing/deck on the rear of my Petworth rowhouse to a more useful space. The landing currently goes about half the width of the house with stairs to ground level (basically, it provides access to a the main level of the house from the rear – this seems to be quite common in the neighborhood). I’d like to expand it to the full width of the house and bump it out to the maximum allowed depth.

The quandry I’m in is as follows: Can I use the gray area of the “postcard” permit which states that you can perform:
“Repairs of one of the following items: Front porch and steps in a single family dwelling” (http://dcra.dc.gov/dcra/cwp/view,a,1343,q,634854.asp#1)

Or do I have to go with the full-blown permitting route of getting a CAD drawing signed off by a DC-licensed architect, waiting for the DCRA approval process, etc?

If I go with the former (much less cumbersome and expensive route), is the only risk a $2000 penalty from DCRA? http://dcra.dc.gov/dcra/frames.asp?doc=/dcra/lib/dcra/information/publications/residents_guide_to_illegal_construction.pdf

Given the fact that the drawings and permit will cost about $1200 through a contractor, it seems a calculated risk worth taking. What have people in the neighborhood done before?”

We discussed roof decks here but does anyone have any experience with a regular deck?

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