Does My Outdoor Living Project Require a Permit in Kansas City, MO?

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    When you want to create a backyard oasis that makes you feel relaxed, you can’t wait to get started. You envision a sprawling patio with a patio shade structure to block the sun’s harshest rays and shield you from the rain. Maybe the amazing smells of tasty steaks are wafting from the grill in the outdoor kitchen and fun music is playing from the outdoor speakers. Or maybe you envision a pool and spa where you can swim for exercise and then soak your worries away.

    The scene is so real, you can see the colors, feel the jets in the spa, and almost even taste that steak. It’s time to move forward and get the design and installation process going.

    But just as your imagination gets to that sweet spot where you think you have all of the elements you want in your Kansas City backyard finally figured out, it’s time to stop and ask yourself some questions about your municipality’s requirements and rules.

    That’s right, we’re talking about landscape permits. While you may want to get started on your outdoor living project without delay, you have to stop for a minute and consider some logistics first. And landscape permits are on that list.

    While it may have taken you a long time to come to a decision about the landscape you want to create for your Kansas City backyard, you have to wait a little bit longer to do things properly based on what your community rules dictate.

    Let’s talk about landscape permit requirements for backyard projects so you can be better prepared as you begin that next phase of your outdoor living plans.

    Outdoor Living Permit Requirements  

    Your ideal landscape may feel beyond your reach as a result of necessary permit requirements.

    Why? Because the rules in various municipalities will be different from community to community. On top of that, permit requirements are perpetually changing. This is why it’s important to refer to your local regulations before proceeding with a project.

    There are quite a few things that can require landscape permits in Kansas City. They include:

    • Electrical and gas line work

    • Structures or pergolas attached to a structure

    • Some hardscapes and patios

    • Driveways

    • Pools

    • Some Decking

    • Some Patios

    • Some removals of large trees

    This list is certainly not exhaustive. It’s always best to check with your local community or homeowners association rules before you begin designing and building any structure or larger installation in your backyard.

    Outdoor Landscape Planning team Kansas City

    Why Are Landscape Permits Important to Consider?  

    Landscape permits are important because it’s technically against the law to perform work on permit-required additions without them. This is because there are standards you must follow in your community to obtain your permit and add your new outdoor living spot properly.

    For instance, if you’re adding an outdoor kitchen, there might be an outdoor kitchen permit you need to get it designed and installed to your municipality’s specifications.

    The entire permitting process ensures standards are met and inspected by a professional who can ensure accurate and safe construction.

    Permitting also ensures the work a professional does on your property passes code requirements that might be necessary to follow if you were to sell your home.

    Additionally, obtaining a permit prevents a city or county from requiring you to remove or tear down any non-permitted work.

    As you can see, landscape permits have their place, protecting you from shoddy work or wasted time and dollars as you plan your dream backyard.

    What Do Permits Add to a Project in Terms of Time and Cost?  

    The time necessary to obtain an outdoor living permit will vary based on the scope and type of permit you need. Some permits require several inspections by the municipality, which can sometimes take weeks for them to check.

    Permit costs also vary by city, county, and scope. Permitting can be hundreds or thousands of dollars based on what is required. It is the city or county who determines the timeline and cost, not the landscape design and installation professional. The contractor can simply act as a communication liaison between you and the code enforcer.

    How Do I Find Out What Landscape Permit I Need?  

    Call your local city hall and ask for permitting and code requirements for your area and project type.

    Make sure you describe what you’re considering doing and ask to send current code requirements for the type of work you need a landscape permit for.

    How Can a Landscape Pro Help With Landscape Permits?  

    A professional landscape design and installation company will often assist with permitting if needed and will either include it in the contract you sign for the landscape work or offer a fee to pursue permits if the homeowner would prefer to not spend time and energy messing with permitting.

    If your design/build contract includes help with landscape permits, it does not often include a set cost for the actual permits because those prices are determined by the municipalities, not the design/build professional.

    Where You Fit in During the Permit Process  

    Ensuring proper landscape permits are in place is something you should always consider in your best interest since this protects you as you go about building your dream landscape and outdoor oasis.

    In fact, most homeowners are also required to submit their permit or change requests to their homeowners associations personally. If your landscape design and installation professional is helping you with this process, they will provide you with any supporting documents you need to submit these materials to your HOA.

    Every community has different rules, so it’s important to get a copy of your municipality’s standards before meeting your landscape design and installation professional. Sharing what you find with them can help them design and bid your outdoor work to your HOA’s specifications, keeping in mind any relevant rules.

    Work With a Landscape Professional Who Can Simplify Landscape Permits  

    Whether you’re looking for a pergola to sit under, a large pool to splash in with your children, an expansive deck or patio or a decked out outdoor kitchen with electrical and gas connections, the work may require an outdoor living permit.

    As you try and figure out permits – and it’s important that you do keep them in mind as you plan a backyard project – the whole process could get overwhelming.

    We certainly understand. You want to dream about your finished, comfortable, cozy space; you don’t want to think about all the logistics required to get that space completed properly.

    Let High Prairie Outdoors’s design and installation professionals help. We have extensive experience in working within permit requirements in many Kansas City municipalities and can help you figure out what you need to do based on your project’s size and scope.

    Don’t let permits stop you from getting that landscape of your dreams. It’s possible to do anything you want in your space; you just have to think about some of the rules and requirements needed to get there. All that’s left for you to do after this is spend time enjoying your new landscape with your family and friends.

    Ready to see how High Prairie can transform your Kansas City home landscape with an outdoor living space that gives you great options for extending your outdoor enjoyment time? We’d love to share our design and installation expertise with you. Get started today with a free consultation. Together, we can prepare a design that you will love and your neighbors will envy.

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    About The Author

    Robyn is a 2009 Graduate of the Kansas State University Department of Horticulture. She grew up in South East Kansas where she graduated from Humboldt High School. She was a Kansas State University Leadership Scholar and President of the Horticulture Club. She married Bret in 2009 and they have a daughter Ellie, born in 2021. Their family is completed by three adopted dogs.

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