Do I Need a Permit to Add a Patio Canopy, Patio Cover or Patio Shade in Harris County, TX?

July 19, 2017

If you have recently added a patio to your property, you know that it can be one of the most enjoyable additions to your home. If you are looking to take this addition to the next level with a cover to augment your patio installation in Harris County, TX, though, you might be wondering whether this development will require a permit, just as your patio did.

Will permits be necessary?

Within Harris County, all residential developments require a permit. The county defines a residential development as any manmade change on either improved or unimproved real estate, buildings or other structures on your private property. This means that not only will a new patio installation require the proper documentation, but any covers, canopies or shades you might want to add at any point in the future will require a permit as well.

There are some instances in which a permit would not be required, but these exceptions typically apply only to routine maintenance or repairs that are taking place on existing structures, and not new developments or additions.

What else you might need

There are also certain cases in which the area you live in would actually require additional paperwork. One of the county’s goals is to avoid increasing flood levels and prevent flooding due to overdevelopment, and the requirements for permits reflect this objective. Before your fill out and file your permit, log on to the county website to see which zone you live in for help determining whether supplementary documentation will be needed for your patio addition. One example of this zoning applies to those that live in 100-year or 500-year floodplains, who are required to submit a detailed cost and scope of work report with their permits.

One final document to check before starting your patio addition is your HOA agreement. Even if you have all of the necessary legal documents on file with the county, your HOA might have additional stipulations about any additions that you might want to make, so it is important to double check your agreement to make sure that your patio canopy, cover or shade isn’t going to be in violation. When you have filled out all of the necessary paperwork, you can make a trip to the Harris County Engineering Department office for walk-in or drop-off service, or you can e-file your permit on the county’s website.

There are other requirements and regulations that you might need to adhere to, but the Harris County permit website is a great resource for help determining just what you will need. You can also consult with the knowledgeable staff at ABC Awning Company. We have been building custom patio canopies, patio covers and patio shades since 1968, and we have experience with the different types of permitting you might encounter with your project. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation so we can help you get started on your new patio cover in Harris County, TX right away. We look forward to helping you!

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