Patio building regulations QLD

by | Jun 20, 2023 | Advice & inspiration, Building basics & regulations, Building tips

A patio can be a fantastic addition to a home, providing a great area for hangouts and relaxing while making the most of the outdoors. But what are the regulations from local council do you need to follow and what permits are required? When it comes to patio building regulations… we’ve got you covered.

Do I need council approval to build a patio in QLD?

In most cases, you’ll need some sort of council approval before you can start building your patio. It’s always best to check with your local council before you commence building.

Planning Approval

Chances are you’ll require planning approval for your patio, but it won’t necessarily need to come from the council. Professional services can provide planning approval for your patio to help ensure you meet all necessary requirements are met.

Building Approval

Though they may sound similar, building approval differs from planning approval.

You’ll need to seek building approval if your patio design:

  • exceeds an overall height of 2.4m (meaning this is the maximum height any part of the patio can be).
  • It has a mean height of over 2.1m
  • The floor height is more than 1m from the ground level.
  • Total floor area exceeds 10m2
  • Is not a freestanding building. In other words, if it attaches to your existing house, you’ll need building approvals.

What are the patio building regulations in QLD?

Boundary setback

This can vary a little depending on the suburb you’re building in, but the standard boundary setback requirements are:

Front: 6m

Side: 1.5m

Back: 1.5m

You do have the option of completing a relaxation application, however, there is no guarantee your appeal will be granted. There is an additional fee for lodging this application and you won’t be refunded if the application is denied.

Fire Protection Requirements

In the Building Code of Australia, there are outlined fire protection requirements for any Class 10 building. These are designed to protect your patio from neighbouring properties and vice versa in case of a fire. The guidelines are as follows:

  • Have clearance of at least 900mm between the deck and the boundary
  • Have clearance of at least 900mm between the deck and the house
  • Have a 60/60 fire-rated wall between the deck and the boundary. The wall should be of masonry construction and have no openings.

Drainage Requirements

Your patio must have stormwater pipes or a drainage system that won’t interfere with your neighbour’s properties and structures. The drainage system must dispose of and discharge the water in a way that will not lead to flooding or other issues (barring extreme weather conditions).

Traditional building character overlay

If your home was built before 1948, there may be restrictions on the types of renovations you’re allowed to perform on it. This is even more true if your home is heritage listed by Brisbane City Council.

Balustrade requirements

Any decks, verandah or patio that is over 1 metre above ground level requires balustrades or handrails to be installed. Unless otherwise approved, these balustrades need to be:

  • At least 1 m tall
  • Cover the entirety of any stairwells
  • Not include climbable elements

Termite Protection

If your patio is being constructed with a timber deck or timber anything, it’s in your best interest to ensure the wood has been treated. You’ll also need to be vigilant with your maintenance to make sure your timber patio remains protected.

What is the patio building approval process?

First check with a third party like the council, a builder or a structural engineer to determine what applications you’ll need to file if any. In most cases where you’re required to seek approval, you’ll need to provide detailed plans of the site and proposed plans (in this case, the patio). Along with these design plans, you’ll need to fill in any necessary forms and pay an application fee.

The length of time it takes for the application process can vary, but it’s not unheard of for it to take 6-8 weeks, so you’ll need to be patient. There’s no real way to guarantee a successful application, but ensuring you have all the necessary documentation and a strong case certainly doesn’t hurt.

How do I ensure that my patio is compliant with QLD regulations?

The primary cause of building work not meeting safety standards or regulations is poor craftsmanship. When hiring a contractor, be sure they’re reputable, have references and don’t show any signs of being dodgy. If you plan to build a patio yourself, be sure that your skill level is up to the task and that you understand all regulations in your area.

There are a few people you can consult including a structural engineer or a private certifier. Unless your patio is being built on an especially challenging site.

Hiring a private building certifier also has the benefit of having a third party look for poor construction techniques, and deck failure and generally ensure the deck building quality of your new patio.

How much will a building inspector cost review my patio build?

The cost of a building inspector in Brisbane can range anywhere from $200 to over $1,300 depending on a wide range of factors. If you’re building a new home that includes a carport, the carport will be inspected as part of the overall home inspection. Some of these factors include:

  • Where you’re located: Metropolitan properties tend to cost more than a place in rural areas.
  • The size of your property: Larger properties naturally cost more to inspect.
  • The structural complexity of your structure: Again, the more complicated your carport, the more expensive the inspection.
  • Level of detail in inspection: The more details that need to be covered in your inspection, the pricier it will be.

Are there any exemptions to the patio building regulations in QLD?

For exemptions, you’ll need to make an application to your local council or the appropriate body. Smaller changes are much more likely to be accepted (for example, your patio is slightly bigger than normal) than major or unusual requests.

Is asking for an exemption worth it? It depends on how essential you feel it is. If it doesn’t matter if you make the necessary change to be in compliance, we recommend saving yourself some time and do that. However, if the need for an exemption is out of necessity or there’s an advantage to getting it, than it may worth making an application.

What are the consequences of not following the patio building regulations in QLD?

Not getting a building permit or approvals when required can lead to fines. You’ll be required to fix any offending parts of your patio and in serious cases, you may even have to remove the patio entirely.

Are there any other approvals that I need to consider?

Each project will be different and have its own unique details, so without knowing the specifics

  • Building permit: This may be a requirement, depending on whether your patio can be classified as an accepted development. Any decent builder will be able to assess your situation and know whether this is necessary. They’ll also know how to get one.
  • Construction approval: You’ll need this if your carport is going to exceed the bounds of council regulations, for example, if your carport is higher than 2.4m, wider than 5m, or has an overall area than 10m2.

Get free advice on patio building regulations & the approval process from an experienced building broker

Buildi is the name to remember for your home-building project. As building brokers, our job is to be a client advocates and even the playing field that otherwise strongly favours the builders. We’ll take your proposal and pitch it to our panel of builders, and have them bidding for your business! Once you’ve selected a builder, we stick by your side and help with negotiations and ensure everything in your contract is met by the builder. Our services have saved our clients time, energy and money!

Book your free, impartial consultation today!


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