Adding A Deck To A Townhouse In NYC

by | Last updated Jul 13, 2020 | 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.


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 us directly.


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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 20 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.