Summer is the perfect time to consider installing a new deck or patio in your yard. But the big question is: what is the difference between a deck and a patio? We run down the top differences between both these structures so you can relax on that deck (or patio!) with ease.

Decks vs Patios: How is it Determined

The number one thing to remember regarding the difference of these two structures is that if the structure measures at a height HIGHER than .65m, it is considered a deck. Anything .64m and UNDER is considered a patio.

Planning to install a new Deck?

Now, patios are one of the lucky structures that do not have a strict bylaw protocol to follow. Decks, on the other hand, do have certain height, length and placement bylaws in place that should be followed in order to achieve compliance with the City of Calgary.

It’s important to remember that building a new deck comes with a lot of prior responsibility. It is always recommended to examine the current bylaws with the City surrounding the building of a new deck. This will help avoid any potential disputes, misplacements, and any other headaches. Key things to note about deck bylaws include:

  • A deck must be at least 6m from the rear property line.
  • A deck must also be at least 3m from the front property line. This distance may have to be further if you’re located in a Developed Area.
  • A deck must be at least 1.2m from a side property line. If the deck ison the street side of a corner lot or the lot is laneless, and no provision for a garage exists, the deck must be 3m from the property line.

Its also important to remember that decks are limited to a height of 1.54m unless your property has an approved walk-out basement.

Deck, installing deck, surveying, bylaws, RPR

Wait, did you say Patios don’t have bylaws?

It’s true. Within the City of Calgary, there are no bylaws governing the placement or length of your patio. They can be built right up to your property line! (Just make sure you don’t cover any concrete swales).

Patios are also less likely to require a building permit than decks.

Patio, bylaws, RPR, summer, survey

Think before you Build!

It is always highly recommended that you seek out a professional contractor when planning on building a deck on your property. Most decks will require a deck permit with the City of Calgary and what better way to ensure approval then by hiring the professionals to make sure the job is done right. It is also advised to contact a local land surveying company so you can make sure that your deck is being installed within the correct parameters.

If you have any questions about the deck permit process, feel free to check out our blog with tips on obtaining a Deck permit with the City on our Resources page.

Arc Surveys

Ready to make your dream deck or patio a reality but have more questions on how to start?  Give us a call (403-277-1272) or drop us an email at  If you have any questions about deck or patio regulations in Calgary, contact us today. We would be more than happy to help.