Decks, Fences & Sheds

Fence in yard


City Codes help ensure that structures are built and maintained to a safe standard and keep our neighborhoods beautiful.

If your home improvement project needs a building permit, don't start work until you have an active permit. This helps make sure your project meets City standards so you don’t have to redo work or reorder materials.


Building anything that carries the weight of people requires extra care and attention to detail. Decks are a popular home improvement project that need to be built right to keep people safe.  

Here is when you need to get a building permit from the City:

  • When building a new deck.
  • When expanding an existing deck.
  • When doing major repairs that involve changing deck framing.

Decks can be a complicated project for homeowners to tackle themselves. Before you get started, download a copy of the Residential Deck Guidelines(PDF, 3MB). This guide will help make sure your project complies with the City’s building codes.



Before applying for this permit, call 1.800.DIG.SAFE to have your utility service lines marked if any part of your deck project involves digging. 

Once you’ve planned a deck that follows City Code, create a construction drawing and a plot plan sketch to submit with your permit application.

Feel free to email staff at or call 913.477.7725 to request a plot plan for your property. We often have plot plans on file for most properties. There is no cost to you for us to provide you with a copy of this document.

Your sketch or plan drawing should include information like the deck’s dimensions, square footage, type of materials, location of piers and other pertinent information for review.

It may take a few days for the City to approve your permit application. We’ll let you know when your application has been approved, or if there are issues that need to be taken care of before you start construction. 

For decks, we highly recommend you get both a framing inspection and a final inspection. A framing inspection can help you address serious structural problems early in the project. Covered decks also require pier inspection before you pour any cement.

Call 913.477.7725 to schedule an inspection. Be sure to schedule your inspection at least one day in advance. 

Here are a few of the most common problems our inspectors find on decks: 

  • Inadequate beam support.
  • Using screws in joist hangers instead of nails.
  • Incorrect materials. Make sure you’re using decay-resistant or treated materials.  
  • Failing to meet detailed stair and handrail requirements. You need to have an uninterrupted, graspable handrail.

Check your deck each year for these potential safety concerns:

  • Handrails and guardrails are secure.  
  • Framing/structure is in good condition.
  • No rotting materials.  
  • Stairs will handle weight and foot traffic.  
  • Treads aren’t missing.  
  • Deck isn’t pulling off of or away from the house.

Permit portal


Here are general fence regulations for residential areas:

  • Fences can’t be more than 6 feet tall in residential areas.
  • Don’t plan to put a fence in easements or swales.
  • The smooth side (finished side) must face out with the framing members facing inward.
  • You must maintain your fence in good condition. (No missing pickets, should not sway, etc.)
  • When a fence is within 3 feet of — or on top of — a retaining wall, the height of the fence plus the height of the retaining wall cannot exceed 10 feet. Fences along the side street on corner lots may be installed 15 feet from the property line as long as they are 4 feet tall and open style (50% or less opaque). If a fence is taller than 4 feet or is privacy-style, the fence cannot be installed within the required setback.

Pools that hold 2 or more feet of water need a fence that is at least 48 inches tall with a self-closing, self-latching gate to keep out children and unauthorized swimmers. More about pools

Building permits are required for new fences unless you’re installing a decorative fence less than 3 feet tall, an agricultural fence, or a retaining wall less than 4 feet high. Fence replacements may also require a permit.

Additional information can be found the the UDC Amendment: Fences, Walls & Retaining Walls(PDF, 386KB) document.

For questions regarding your fence project and to verify if a permit is needed, please call 913.477.7725.

Permit portal

Sheds and accessory structures

Accessory structures are a great way to add room for storage or relaxation. Examples include detached garages, carports, gazebos and sheds. If you’re planning one of these that will be more than 120 square feet, you need to get a building permit. Any structure that is attached to the house, regardless of the size, requires a building permit.

All accessory structures — even those that don’t need a permit — must meet the City’s setback requirements. Setbacks tell you how far from the property line you need to place your building. Setbacks vary based on your zoning district and building size. Find a table outlining these requirements in our Accessory Structures Guide(PDF, 366KB)

Generally, accessory structures can only be placed in your backyard. There are some exceptions for lots bigger than 1 acre.

Sheds and accessory structures must be maintained in good condition and free of peeling paint or wood rot.

Before you apply for a building permit, contact Community Development Staff at to get a copy of your plot plan. You’ll need to show property lines, existing buildings, the locations and size of your proposed project, paved areas, setbacks, utility easements and rights of way. 

You’ll also need to provide a construction drawing and details about your project, like the building materials you’re using.  

Once we’ve received all the information we need for your application, staff will review the project and let you know if the permit is approved or if changes need to be made prior to issuing the permit.

Permit portal