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Need Deck Plans for City of Markham

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  • Apr 21st, 2017 12:01 am
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[OP]
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Jun 27, 2004
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Toronto

Need Deck Plans for City of Markham

Hi everyone. Has anyone ever done their own deck plans and submitted to the City for a permit?
I'm thinking of drawing up my own plans but I'm worried they won't be 'professional' enough. I'd like to start building my deck on May 24, and applying for the permit next week...so I can't really afford being rejected because of poor plans.

I have no issue building everything to code, and already determined I need a permit, just need to find amazing software or instructions on how to draw this up.

Simple rectangle deck 18'x14', 2.5' high, freestanding, 9 piers 4ft deep (6x6 to be safe), and I can list the decking and joist size on my drawings.

Any advice is appreciated! Thanks!
12 replies
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Oct 19, 2008
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Whitby
sean222 wrote:
Apr 21st, 2016 10:16 pm
so I can't really afford being rejected because of poor plans.

I have no issue building everything to code

Simple rectangle deck 18'x14', 2.5' high, freestanding, 9 piers 4ft deep (6x6 to be safe), and I can list the decking and joist size on my drawing
You should be fine although Markham's building inspectors do have a rep for being difficult. For example builders decks in the area will be 6" sono tubes....but building dept will ask you about soil and depending on the day/clerk tell you "he'd like to see....12" sono tubes" I don't mention this to discourage you-just to prepare you. Sure 6' sono tubes might pin, I don't use them even if allowed-but why can a builder use 6" and contractor be asked to use 12" because soil bearing capacity is unknown? And no, the builders aren't using a belled bottom 48" deep-dug many out.
You are basically paying this guy to give you a hard time-and he will if you allow it. I've had arguments with building departments where they wanted an engineers stamp on a hand rail(basic aluminum sold at Lowe's with P eng manufacturer's stamped spec'd drawings/install allowances). That was local building dept for a member here's deck 2 summers ago....just heard from a fellow contractor going through the same crap from same clerk.

Get your plans in ASAP, note on the drawing all details will be to OBC and local regulations-that should prevent the clerk from kicking the permit back because you didn't spec sono tubes will extend 6" above grade for example.
nomdesplumes:

"I wonder if adding extra electrical outlets is considered an electrical installation?"
Member
Oct 14, 2007
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Zamboni wrote:
Apr 22nd, 2016 8:28 am
You should be fine although Markham's building inspectors do have a rep for being difficult. For example builders decks in the area will be 6" sono tubes....but building dept will ask you about soil and depending on the day/clerk tell you "he'd like to see....12" sono tubes" I don't mention this to discourage you-just to prepare you. Sure 6' sono tubes might pin, I don't use them even if allowed-but why can a builder use 6" and contractor be asked to use 12" because soil bearing capacity is unknown? And no, the builders aren't using a belled bottom 48" deep-dug many out.
You are basically paying this guy to give you a hard time-and he will if you allow it. I've had arguments with building departments where they wanted an engineers stamp on a hand rail(basic aluminum sold at Lowe's with P eng manufacturer's stamped spec'd drawings/install allowances). That was local building dept for a member here's deck 2 summers ago....just heard from a fellow contractor going through the same crap from same clerk.

Get your plans in ASAP, note on the drawing all details will be to OBC and local regulations-that should prevent the clerk from kicking the permit back because you didn't spec sono tubes will extend 6" above grade for example.
Good info - I'm considering the same thing myself.

Wouldn't a builder have the site developer's report on soil bearing capacity to fall back on?
[OP]
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Jun 27, 2004
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Toronto
Zamboni wrote:
Apr 22nd, 2016 8:28 am
You should be fine although Markham's building inspectors do have a rep for being difficult. For example builders decks in the area will be 6" sono tubes....but building dept will ask you about soil and depending on the day/clerk tell you "he'd like to see....12" sono tubes" I don't mention this to discourage you-just to prepare you. Sure 6' sono tubes might pin, I don't use them even if allowed-but why can a builder use 6" and contractor be asked to use 12" because soil bearing capacity is unknown? And no, the builders aren't using a belled bottom 48" deep-dug many out.
You are basically paying this guy to give you a hard time-and he will if you allow it. I've had arguments with building departments where they wanted an engineers stamp on a hand rail(basic aluminum sold at Lowe's with P eng manufacturer's stamped spec'd drawings/install allowances). That was local building dept for a member here's deck 2 summers ago....just heard from a fellow contractor going through the same crap from same clerk.

Get your plans in ASAP, note on the drawing all details will be to OBC and local regulations-that should prevent the clerk from kicking the permit back because you didn't spec sono tubes will extend 6" above grade for example.
Great information indeed. I'm getting a bit worried and thinking of just making a short deck where I won't need a permit. But $5000 later and still won't be as happy as I want. Thanks again for the tips, I'll see if I can share my drawing here after I make it this weekend.
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Aug 10, 2013
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Arviat
What happens if someone builds a deck without getting a permit? Can they get one after and is there some kind of fine?
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Heavenleigh85 wrote:
Apr 23rd, 2016 10:47 am
What happens if someone builds a deck without getting a permit? Can they get one after and is there some kind of fine?
Yes, yes, or they might order you to tear it down and destroy it (or the city will do it and charge you.)
I've got a pretty good friend who's seen me at my worst.
He don't care if I'm a blessing or a curse,
But he always shows up when the chips are down.
That's the kind of friend I like to be around.
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Nov 18, 2005
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Kitchener
Everything is here including sample plans

https://www.markham.ca/wps/wcm/connect/ ... 7685b5378d

if you're making it free standing and adjacent to your house then make note of this regulation

"Piers must be founded on undisturbed soil having a minimum bearing capacity of 75 kPa (1500 psf)"

the 2 feet of soil around your home foundation is disturbed and may be below the 75 kPa requirement if it's a newer home
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Oct 19, 2008
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Wonivek wrote:
Apr 22nd, 2016 10:09 am
Wouldn't a builder have the site developer's report on soil bearing capacity to fall back on?
Bearing capacity varies across the site, and I was just using that as an example of something the Building Dept clerk will attempt to trip you up with. Local code will give you a capacity you can assume, calculate deck load and you can determine size and number of piers. Its when you do all that-and the clerk tells you "he'd like to see"....and its something unreasonable.
More than once I've been building a deck and questioned the attending inspector why the builders deck I took down has numerous code violations but he has the nerve to put a tape measure in holes we augured. The inspectors avoid contractors, visit within 48 hours of a call because the don't want it pointed out the neighbours decks have actual safety issues ...but inspector is checking stairs I built have an exact (within 1/4") uniform rise btw each step. Seen inspector pull up....see my truck and drive away.
Another thing for DIY'er pulling a permit to watch for-plan those steps perfectly so they are all the same....that often trips up inexperienced deck builders and there is no way a top or bottom step of 4" can pass :D See that often when DIYer cuts stringer to fit.
nomdesplumes:

"I wonder if adding extra electrical outlets is considered an electrical installation?"
Newbie
Jun 28, 2016
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sean222 wrote:
Apr 22nd, 2016 10:52 am
Great information indeed. I'm getting a bit worried and thinking of just making a short deck where I won't need a permit. But $5000 later and still won't be as happy as I want. Thanks again for the tips, I'll see if I can share my drawing here after I make it this weekend.
Hi there,
did you manage to get the permit? Can you share the drawing for me-- I am thinking of drawing one for my backyard.

thanks,
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Jan 25, 2007
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Paris
Zamboni wrote:
Apr 24th, 2016 9:42 am
Bearing capacity varies across the site, and I was just using that as an example of something the Building Dept clerk will attempt to trip you up with. Local code will give you a capacity you can assume, calculate deck load and you can determine size and number of piers. Its when you do all that-and the clerk tells you "he'd like to see"....and its something unreasonable.
More than once I've been building a deck and questioned the attending inspector why the builders deck I took down has numerous code violations but he has the nerve to put a tape measure in holes we augured. The inspectors avoid contractors, visit within 48 hours of a call because the don't want it pointed out the neighbours decks have actual safety issues ...but inspector is checking stairs I built have an exact (within 1/4") uniform rise btw each step. Seen inspector pull up....see my truck and drive away.
Another thing for DIY'er pulling a permit to watch for-plan those steps perfectly so they are all the same....that often trips up inexperienced deck builders and there is no way a top or bottom step of 4" can pass :D See that often when DIYer cuts stringer to fit.
I bought an excel spreadsheet for stringer planning for 12 bucks when I did my deck. Ive used it COUNTLESS times since. I'm now a stair snob.
Gbill2004: Thanks but I'll just smell the couch before/if I buy it.

jonnyb: I go in there like PICASSO and toss the glue everywhere, I don't care what house I'm on.
[OP]
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Jun 27, 2004
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Toronto
Nope didn't get the permit, to much hassle. I built my deck 1.5ft high, not anchored to the house, 6 posts, the 3 posts closest to the house were a few feet away from the house to avoid post being in backfill region. Only downside to all off this is that when I come out of my house onto my deck, I have to take a small step down, maybe 5 or 6", not too bad. It's funny, I still built the deck to code even though no permit or inspection, just for safety.
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Dec 17, 2007
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Jerico wrote:
Apr 20th, 2017 10:32 pm
I bought an excel spreadsheet for stringer planning for 12 bucks when I did my deck. Ive used it COUNTLESS times since. I'm now a stair snob.
I found a great free stair calculator when I did my deck stairs last summer. http://www.mycarpentry.com/stair-calculator.html
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Jan 25, 2007
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Paris
schade wrote:
Apr 20th, 2017 11:23 pm
I found a great free stair calculator when I did my deck stairs last summer. http://www.mycarpentry.com/stair-calculator.html
I did mine in 2008. There weren't as many web resources back then. There is an iPhone app now too.

The one I bought actually gives you a measurement to map out all the cuts and visualize the stairs once finished. I haven't tested anything newer as this one does all I need.

Edit: found it http://www.shalla.net
Gbill2004: Thanks but I'll just smell the couch before/if I buy it.

jonnyb: I go in there like PICASSO and toss the glue everywhere, I don't care what house I'm on.

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