Most building work requires a building permit, but there are some exemptions as set out in Schedule 3 of the Building Regulations 2018 - "Exemptions for buildings works & building"
Construction of a freestanding deck, or other (non-masonry) outbuilding (eg. gazebo), less than 10m² in area, & less than 3m high. If closer to the boundary than 1m, height has to be less than 2.4m. The structure has to be set back behind the home's street frontage
Demolition of a freestanding, non-masonry outbuilding less than 40m² in area
Repair or renewal of part of a building, provided; no change in floor area or height, using materials commonly used for the purpose & no effect on existing structure
Alterations to a building, provided; no change in floor area or height, no effect on existing structure, & behind the street alignment
Screens less than 2m high, except within 3m of street
Retaining walls less than 1m high
Pergolas less than 20m² in area, less than 3.6m high, & no further forward than 2.5m of the dwelling front wall
Any new deck or verandah (roofed pergola), of any size, attached to your home requires a building permit.
Building without a permit is a serious offence which may attract penalties over $10,000, & may affect your home insurance, result in complications on sale, and may be required to be demolished by the Local Council.
Building legislation & regulations are complicated. We take care of these & other details to prepare the building permit drawings & obtain the building permit. We can also take care of other applications that may be required, such as a "Consent & Report" application to the Local Council, which is required to vary any of the siting Regulations.
Building work requiring specialist trades must be performed by practitioners licensed in that trade.
Your verandah or carport's roofing & associated works must be carried out by a licensed roofing practitioner, & if the works are valued at over $600, they must issue a Certificate of Compliance.
We use one of Melbourne's best roofers to carry out all our roofing work.
If your project exceeds $5,000, the builder must be registered with the Victorian Building Authority, and enter into a "major domestic building contract" with you, the specifics of which are defined by State legislation: Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995.
We have developed a simple, 4 page contract tailored to our business, which provides the necessary protections & meets the requirements specified by the Act.
For projects over $16,000 the Building Act requires builders to take out Domestic Building Insurance (DBI).
This provides protection, if, before project completion, the builder dies, disappears or becomes insolvent. It also provides cover for you & any future purchaser, for fixing structural defects for 6 years, and non-structural defects for 2 years from completion, in the case of the death, disappearance or insolvency of the builder.
If you intend to carry out work as owner builder, you are required to take out DBI, to provide the same protections to any future purchaser of your property.
We hold an up to date Certificate of Eligibility for Domestic Building Insurance to the contract value of $500,000 for structural works, & $50,000 for non-structural.
We hold a Public & Products policy for $10m, which provides cover for compensation for any property damage or personal injury that may arise from carrying out our business activities.
Here we outline building regulations that affect the siting aspects of the design for a new deck, pergola, verandah or carport.
The Building Act 1993 empowers the regulation of certain aspects of buildings & structures, resulting in the Building Regulations 2018. The Parts of the Building Regulations of interest here are:
1. Standards of construction
The Building Code of Australia (BCA) is adopted by, & forms part of the Regulations.
The BCA sets out the technical provisions for the design & construction of buildings, including:
Carports & pergolas can be built to the boundary, subject to certain criteria being met
A freestanding deck can be built to the boundary, provided it is more than 900mm away from the home
A deck attached to the home, or less than 900mm separated, can be built to the boundary provided a 1 hour fire wall is provided to the boundary edge, to the height of the deck
Verandahs can be built to the boundary, provided the last 900mm is unroofed, if not, a 1 hour fire wall has to be installed to the boundary to the underside of the roofing
The Regulations prescribe requirements for the design & siting of single dwellings & associated buildings. Those of relevance here are:
If not scheduled in the planning scheme, then the average setback of the homes on adjoining allotments, or 9m whichever is the lesser. Other rules apply for different situations
Verandahs & pergolas less than 3.6m high, & decks less than 800mm high may encroach into this setback by 2.5m
If not specified in the planning scheme, site coverage must not exceed 60%
Pergolas & unroofed decks are disregarded
Side & rear setbacks:
If not scheduled in the planning scheme, setbacks are detemined by a height profile:
1m for height 3.6m or less
1m plus 300mm for every 1m height over 3.6m, but less than 6.9m
2m plus 1m for every 1m height over 6.9m to maximum height 9m
Pergolas & carports are (generally) exempt
Verandahs may encroach up to 500mm into the setback
Walls on boundaries (incl. carports):
Maximum height of 3.6m, with average of 3m, or to same height as an abutting wall
Setback for adjoining north facing windows:
Where a carport is to be constructed within 3m of a north facing window in a dwelling of an adjoining alotment, & the window is within 3m of the boundary, the carport is to be setback:
1m for height 3.6m or less
1m plus 600mm for every 1m height over 3.6m, but less than 6.9m
3m plus 1m for every 1m height over 6.9m to maximum height 9m
A deck or balcony must not provide a direct line of sight (as measured 1.7m above deck level) into an adjoining habitable room window, or onto a private secluded open space, that is within 9m & 45° of the view point(s), unless:
The deck is less than 800mm above ground level, & there is a fence at least 1.8m high
For decks over 800mm high, there is a fixed & permanent screen, with less than 25% openings that obscures the line of sight.
If a proposed design does not meet the requirements of a siting regulation, an application for dispensation may be made to the Local Council for a "Consent & Report"..