Eyeing a new outdoor entertainment area to make weekends more fun? Thinking of putting some shade over your head in the form of an alfresco verandah? Need a carport for your classic car? A pool house to hide the floaty toys? All great ideas to enhance your lifestyle and add easy value to your home, but have you forgotten about something?

Do you need council permits for all of this?

The short answer is: yes, even though there is a little more to it than that.

Your friends or family may be pushing you to go ahead, however, you won’t be feeling very clever when you dodge the minor cost of getting that permit and cop a huge fine instead. And just imagine the nightmare of having to deal with the council forcing you to take down your beautiful new structure just after putting it up. Nightmare!

So the only wise and prudent thing to do is check into your council’s regulations for the sort of house extensions or structures that you’re dreaming about. Your council doesn’t want to spoil your big plans, but they’ll always want to check into whether your proposed structure will trigger a planning permit or perhaps even other permits.

What sort of council planning permit will I need?

Generally, Council planning permit comes in different varieties. Council will decide if planning is required and will consider the following:

  • Will the structure comply with your council’s objectives?
  • Will the structure be visible from the front street?
  • Is the proposed structure going to be close to a title boundary?
  • Does your project involve a structure with a closed roof?
  • Does it require a special footing to handle the load?
  • Is your extension attached to the house?
  • Will it be so high that it is a concern to the council?

If the answer is yes to any of these, you will need to contact your council to discuss what type of permits you will need.

What about carports, verandahs and pergolas?

While obviously similar, these types of structures may differ substantially when it comes to determining the permit. The council may be mostly interested in the roof, and whether it’s solid like a roofed carport, or involves more of a mesh-like covering such as a run of the mill pergola.

This difference can be crucial not just for determining how close you can put the structure to your boundary, what materials are used and the structural requirements, but also whether a planning permit is necessary at all. Decks and pergolas, in particular, are sometimes excluded from the necessity for permits, and often a tweak or two in the planning stage can save a lot of time and expense later.

The key, however, is to be sure – and rest assured your local council will be more than ready to answer these types of questions. But the very best construction consultants and companies will handle these sorts of applications and permits for you, so all you need to do is contact your trusted Melbourne registered builders to plan your project, wait for the green light and have your dream turned into reality!