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Do I need a permit to build this patio in Houston?


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Posted (edited)

We want to build a patio like this in the back yard. It would be a few feet from the house. Do we need a permit?

I'd dig down 8 inches, fill 4 inches of gravel, top with leveling sands to slope away from house, and then fill in pavers and small rock. 

We're in Houston city limits, and we are not in a 100 or 500 year floodplain.

DSC_1306.jpg

5087a2f6a7f4f07088efcea9658d351c.jpg

Edited by kylejack
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4 minutes ago, kylejack said:

We want to build a patio like this in the back yard. It would be a few feet from the house. Do we need a permit?

It would be a few feet away from the house. I'd dig down 8 inches, fill 4 inches of gravel, top with leveling sands to slope away from house, and then fill in pavers and small rock. 

We're in Houston city limits, and we are not in a 100 or 500 year floodplain.

DSC_1306.jpg

5087a2f6a7f4f07088efcea9658d351c.jpg

We built patios and walkways on all four sides of our house with no problems.  Expect that the city or HCAD (not sure how the exact process works) may see that in the satellite photos and ding you for the extra drainage fee on your water bill.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Why not replace the gravel with some nice greenery?  I occasionally read gardening magazines, and there's lots of different plants that work in that function, and it looks pretty nice.

Random example from the intarwebs:

5432cc001e202b45f91a975c4bd7045d-3153368090.jpeg

More: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=grass+between+pavers&ia=images&iax=images&iai=https%3A%2F%2Fi.pinimg.com%2Foriginals%2F54%2F32%2Fcc%2F5432cc001e202b45f91a975c4bd7045d.jpg

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18 hours ago, editor said:

Why not replace the gravel with some nice greenery?  I occasionally read gardening magazines, and there's lots of different plants that work in that function, and it looks pretty nice.

Random example from the intarwebs:

5432cc001e202b45f91a975c4bd7045d-3153368090.jpeg

More: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=grass+between+pavers&ia=images&iax=images&iai=https%3A%2F%2Fi.pinimg.com%2Foriginals%2F54%2F32%2Fcc%2F5432cc001e202b45f91a975c4bd7045d.jpg

That looks suspiciously like artificial turf grass.

https://www.almostgrass.com/artificial-grass-between-pavers/

Not a bad idea, of course.  My first thought looking at that picture was "that's gonna need constant maintenance".  Using artificial instead makes it almost maintenance free.

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22 hours ago, august948 said:

That looks suspiciously like artificial turf grass.

https://www.almostgrass.com/artificial-grass-between-pavers/

Not a bad idea, of course.  My first thought looking at that picture was "that's gonna need constant maintenance".  Using artificial instead makes it almost maintenance free.

Follow the link to the picture gallery.  Plenty of ideas in there that are natural grass.

While I don't have personal experience with the maintenance of this sort of thing, I don't think it's crazy.  I say this because there are low-growing varieties of plants that can be used, and because I've seen real estate developers do this sort of thing in places where they're required to put a certain amount of rainwater runoff into the ground.  And you know how real estate developers hate ongoing maintenance costs.

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1 hour ago, editor said:

Follow the link to the picture gallery.  Plenty of ideas in there that are natural grass.

While I don't have personal experience with the maintenance of this sort of thing, I don't think it's crazy.  I say this because there are low-growing varieties of plants that can be used, and because I've seen real estate developers do this sort of thing in places where they're required to put a certain amount of rainwater runoff into the ground.  And you know how real estate developers hate ongoing maintenance costs.

Personally, after years of Houston yard work and fighting weeds, I'd opt for artificial in a case like this.  The grass they make now isn't our father's astroturf. 

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Posted (edited)

Saint Augustine isn't going to work between these pavers, because of the way that it grows. Zoysia might, but I'm not going to nuke my whole lawn just to replant zoysia for this patio space. 

But anyway, that's beside the point, which was whether or not building a patio space like this requires a permit. I saw one thing somewhere that said that any man-made modification of the natural environment requires a building permit in City of Houston, and was just wondering if there was any nuance to that. I don't want to build it and then the City somehow finds out and makes me tear it all out and pull a permit.

Edited by kylejack
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Here's a PDF that summarizes permitting requirements in Houston https://www.houstonpermittingcenter.org/media/1881/download but it's not clear about a patio

Here's a link for residential plan review https://www.houstonpermittingcenter.org/building-code-enforcement/residential-plan-review it has a phone number. Call them up and ask. One advantage of knowing for sure is that when you sell the house, you can truthfully answer the question on the disclosure form that you are not aware of any unpermitted work.

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