Adding A Deck To A Townhouse In NYC

by | Mar 7, 2019 | Houses, Renovations

Adding a deck to a townhouse in NYC is a very popular home improvement. This is a relatively straight forward process but there are a few things you should know.


Adding A Deck to A Townhouse 

Below are a few points we will review for adding a deck to a New York City townhouse.

  • Permits
  • Required Yards
  • Balconies


Adding A Deck to A Townhouse in NYC

Below is a photo of a steel deck with concrete pavers we added while renovating a Brooklyn Townhouse. The exterior masonry wall was opened to accommodate the new door with an exposed steel lintel.

Brooklyn Townhouse Deck Addition

Brooklyn Townhouse Deck Addition


Permits For a Deck in NYC

You must get permits to build a deck. You will need to file with the NYC Department Of Buildings (DOB) to build a deck. If your building is Landmark Status you will also need to file with the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC). You will need a NY Registered Architect for this project.


NYC Yard Requirements for Decks

TPPN 4 / 03


One very important document for deck regulations is the NYC DOB TPPN 4 / 03. This applies to the first Floor or Parlor floor of a townhouse “above a cellar or basement” (or below this point).  Please see a few terms defined below and the key points, but first I will paraphrase.

TPPN 4/03 Interpretation

New York City Zoning Regulations has yard requirements. You can build a deck within the required yard as long as it does not exceed an 8 feet from the building face. The stairs do not count for the 8 foot allowance.

Additional Stipulations For Decks:

  • If the deck is built with combustible materials it must be at least 3 feet from a property line.
  • There can be no storage or usable space underneath.


An unenclosed, unroofed, relatively level paved or planted area adjoining a building; a raised embankment with the top leveled for walking or seating purposes.


An unenclosed, unroofed entrance with steps to a building located at or below the floor level of the first story above a cellar or basement.


An open-air passage connecting two buildings or building to a garage.

Decks, porticos, verandas, etc… :

Shall be viewed in the context of the above definitions.


Balconies in NYC

Balconies are located above the first floor. In certain instances balconies can encroach on a required yard.

R1, R2, R3, R4, & R5

In the above listed districts a balcony at the second level or higher can penetrate a required rear yard if it is at most 50% the width of the building face.

R6, R7, R8, R9, & R10

In the above listed districts a balcony at the third level or higher can penetrate a required rear yard if it is at most 50% the width of the building face.


Thank you for reading our blog post on Adding a Deck to a Townhouse in NYC.

I hope this was helpful. Please leave questions and comments below. If you would like to speak with an architect you can contact Fontan Architecture directly.


Jorge Fontan
Jorge Fontan

This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 15 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.

  • MT says:

    Would this type of first floor deck be counted towards Lot Coverage?

  • HT says:

    do you need a c of o to build a deck with stairs during a townhouse renovation (from parlor level) ? (renovation would not otherwise require a c of o)

  • John P. says:

    Is it ever possible to build a deck that extends more than 8′ from the face of the house?

  • Khaleda Khan says:

    With the architectural plans and permit, can a homeowner build their own deck?

    • Khaleda.
      The only advice I ever give to the DIY crowd is that you should hire licensed, insured, and qualified professionals. Please believe me that is the best advice you will ever get.

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.

    Contact Fontan Architecture

    If you would like to speak with an architect you can contact our office and we can discuss your project. Fontan Architecture is a full service architecture firm working on a wide range of project types. Thank you and good luck on your upcoming project. 

    Contact Us