Deck/Patio Construction

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Decks must be located with-in the co-owner’s limited common element (LCE) areas, as shown in the “Exhibit B Drawings,” and not less than four feet from any adjacent unit. In those locations where the side LCE’s of adjacent co-owners overlap, the available area should be split evenly between the two co-owners, with some reasonable gap separating the nearest points, subject to the approval of both co-owners and the Association. Existing decks (as of June 2015) that extend beyond the co-owners limited common element are considered to be grandfathered in, but the re-construction of such a deck must be within the limited common element. Access to the area below a deck cannot be restricted with lattice-work or any other obstruction. A written request for deck/patio construction must first be approved in writing by the Board of Directors prior to commencement of any work. The co-owner must utilize the Architectural Control Package when applying for written approval. Construction and/or improvement of a patio or deck area may not be started until all guideline requirements are satisfied. This includes obtaining permits from the City of Farmington Hills. Lumber utilized must be treated wood for any in-ground beams, ledges and joists. Topside lumber may be either treated wood or cedar.

Basement window wells must not be covered over.

Utility meters must not be permanently enclosed. If covered, easy access to the meters must be provided. A three foot wide, eight foot tall space must be provided in front of any utility meter when enclosures or covers are removed. The height will be measured from grade.

If, at a future date, the deck and/or patio obstruct work for necessary maintenance or service, the removal and restoration of the area will be done at the co-owner’s expense.

If the co-owner should decide to alter, redesign or replace an existing patio/deck, Board approval must be obtained.

The maximum distance the deck and/or patio area can extend from the rear of the unit (roof overhang) is twenty (20) feet, including plantings at the rear edge of the proposed improvement.

Written approval from the Board of Directors as well as review by the Architectural/Landscape Committee for sprinkler conflicts and a copy of the plan must be submitted to the City of Farmington Hills for its approval and to obtain a building permit. Notice/Copy of the City Building Permit must be provided to the Association in care of the Management Company prior to the start of construction.

Before construction starts, it is the responsibility of the co-owner or contractor to call Miss Dig 1-800-482-7171. Miss Dig will locate any underground utility lines to prevent damage from any digging required to construct the proposed deck.

Co-owners may apply Sherwin Williams Deckscapes waterborne semi transparent stain – color Cedar Bark #SW 3511 or Sherwin Williams Deckscapes solid color stain – color Ember #SW 3029. These are the only deck treatments that are permitted so that eventually all decks will be in compliance.You are encouraged to use these stains but other manufactures whose color is close to these colors is acceptable.

Co-owners are responsible for the upkeep of any non-front entrance deck and the area under the deck.

Under rules of the City as well as the Architectural/Landscape Committee, five copies of the plans showing the following must be submitted:

  1. Site plan – a scale drawing showing the existing building and any existing structures (decks) and adjacent decks with the new proposed deck. Also, show any utility equipment meters, sprinkler heads, downspouts, sump drains and trees. Include type of material and size of lumber.
  2. Framing plan – a scale drawing showing the proposed support system of posts, beams, ledgers and joists.
  3. Post profile – a scale drawing showing burial depth and size of posts. Also, show type and treatment specification of proposed posts.
  4. Deck detail – a scale drawing showing deck and railing design. Railing detail must show type and style of balusters (minimum 36” high, maximum 4” between balusters or current code.)
  5. Step detail – a scale drawing showing step and railing construction. Location to be shown on site plan.
  6. Landscape detail – a scale drawing showing sod removal, rock ground cover, sprinkler alterations and any grade change. The costs to relocate sprinkler heads because of deck construction or plantings will be at the co-owner’s expense. The new location will be determined by the Association sprinkler contractor.
  7. Height of deck above ground.
  8. Steps, if any, must have support at bottom and fall within the minimum 15 feet guidelines.
  9. Show height and spacing of railing (minimum 36” high/maximum 4” between spindles or whatever is current code.)
  10. Exact location of deck attachment to unit.

Note: All spoil from holes, sod removal and grading must be hauled off site. Grade under the deck must be sloped to provide positive drainage away from the building and not create drainage issues for the site. Area under deck must be covered with a 2″ depth of 1″ river rock. All sprinkler alterations and grade changes must be approved with the plan. Contact McShane Mgmt for a drawing of your unit model.

Instructions for Deck Modifications

Included with these instructions is the City of Farmington Hills requirement for wood deck construction.

Attached are seven (7) drawings defining the deck construction requirements for the River Pines Condominium Association.

Please refer to the River Pines web site, and look under the menu item “Rules and Regulations – Deck / Patio” for further instructions and clarification.

On sheet #1 of the drawings show the following :

  • Your unit address, unit number, building number
  • Owners name and phone number
  • Contractors name and phone number
  • Show where your deck is to be located by drawing an outline of what is planned. Show dimensions for length, width and height of the deck.

You will need five (5) copies of these drawings plus additional drawings for irregular shaped decks or any special details you have planned:

1 – To be submitted with your modification request

2 – City of Farmington Hills Building Dept

1 – For your construction contractor

1 – For your records

Submit a River Pines Modification Request and 1 copy of all drawings to McShane and Associates for review and approval by the Board of Directors.


Please open the PDF file which has a copy of these instructions, as well as the Farmington Hills instructions, and the drawings from River Pines