External staircase - building permit required?

As you know, you are not allowed to build anything in this country. For most structures, a building permit is required. Sometimes, however, a simplified pre-construction request is sufficient. How it relates to the construction of an external staircase and the building permit is regulated differently in the individual countries. Here is an overview of the facts.

country building authorities

Unfortunately, the building regulations in Germany are not uniformly regulated, on the contrary, in some areas, such as the construction of an outside staircase, the legal situation can be completely different, depending on where you live. For a staircase that has more than three steps, you should always ask first the legal situation with your competent building authority.

Modern young construction areas

The development plan for newly advertised construction areas is often extremely narrow. You may have to deal with this in addition to a building permit. Thus, it may happen that your staircase, although in principle could be approved by the building authority, but still may not be built.


Whether a building permit is required for your staircase or not, in any case, you must comply with the distances to the border building. For a building permit, for example, it could be more difficult if the new staircase would enable you to look into the upper windows of your neighbor.

Never build such a staircase in black without asking the Building Department. Unfortunately, one often can not even imagine that there are still neighbors who are just waiting for it.

Collect important facts

These facts should be collected before you ask your building authority whether the staircase in question requires a permit.

  • building materials
  • Site plan on the property
  • Distance to neighboring property
  • Height of the stairs
  • additional dimensions of the stairs
  • Rights of neighbors are affected

Tips & Tricks

First, you must always assume that a real staircase from about three levels requires a building permit. If you still build without a construction request, the ignorance will not apply later. It is always assumed that you had to be aware that a building permit is required. In addition to a complete demolition, which goes at your expense, could also be a fine.

Video Board: Stair Treads and Risers Building Code Update - 2012 International Building Code