You'll need a permit from your municipality. Where I live, the zoning officer also has to sign off. You will need a level foundation below the frost line and the materials to build it. Some municipalities also require plans to determine if they are safe and appropriate.
Anything attached to a permanent structure requires a permit. If you are doing the work yourself, you need to pull the permit and familiarize yourself with the process. If hiring out, your contractor wiil pull the permit an be responsible for the inspection schedule. Here are a few sites to get you started so you know what to expect.
Hi Tonia - These are two articles that show how we took our small and sad deck and turned it into a gorgeous entertainment space complete with a pergola. Hope they help with some inspiration! Hugs, Holly
Hi Tonia, hope this helps you out,
Hi Tonia, I know I'm a little late answering your post but I wanted to mention you may or MAY NOT need a permit at all. It totally depends on where you live. Call your court house and see if you even need a permit. After that you might want to consider heading to your local building center and see what they have for small base model porches and things - might be able to get the materials delivered pretty cheaply if you're flexible on exactly what you're looking for :)