Do I need a building permit to build a patio cover or ramada in my yard?

Each Arizona city makes its own rules about building permits, and most require one for any kind of roofing—including a patio cover.

You probably won’t need a permit if you’re building a small, detached structure that doesn’t have any water or electricity. Still, know the zoning rules for your area, as you may have to leave at least six feet between structures and your property line.

In most cases, you’ll pay a small fee per square foot of the roof or structure.

Cities require building permits to protect you and your neighbors from work that doesn’t meet minimum construction standards. Once you get a permit, you will have a visit from a building inspector, who will ensure that the work performed on your property is safe, complies with city building codes and meetings environmental standards.

Most contractors are willing to do the legwork to get your permit so you don’t have to.

Getting a permit before you build will save you a huge headache if you decide to sell your home later and find out that your patio cover isn’t up to standards.

A note: Hire contractors who have licenses from the Arizona Registrar of Contractors. Ask your contractors if they have licenses to perform the specific kind of work you need. A contractor with a plumber’s license, for example, is not allowed to build your deck unless he also has a permit for that kind of work.

You can check out your contractor or find one with the right licenses by visiting