Building a deck
Before you add a deck to your house, check if you need planning approval from Brisbane City Council. To begin, find out the key facts about your property, including zoning, overlays, lot size and if your property is included in a neighbourhood plan.
A 'deck' is not separately defined in Brisbane City Plan 2014. It is included in the definition of 'dwelling house'.
Planning approval for decks
Building a deck may not require planning approval from Council.
A Development.i property enquiry can help you determine if your proposal requires Council approval. You can also phone 07 3403 8888 to speak to a town planner.
Traditional building character overlay
If your property is located in the Traditional building character overlay and adding your deck does not involve minor demolition work or minor building work, you may need to lodge a planning application. The application will need to address specific building requirements outlined in the Traditional building character overlay (demolition) code and the Traditional Building character (design) overlay code.
Building approval is separate from planning approval. Licensed private building certifiers or building consultants can provide advice regarding:
- building work for an existing dwelling house, or a new dwelling house, including any demolition works
- required building approvals.
You can find private building certifiers and building consultants using the Queensland Building and Construction Commission's Find a local contractor search.
Check your deck
Council's annual 'Check your deck' campaign reminds residents to have the structural integrity of timber decks, balconies, balustrades, stairs and handrails at their homes checked.
If you have a timber deck or balcony, Council encourages you to arrange a professional structural safety check. It is important to get your deck checked by a licensed building professional. You should not attempt to check your own deck as a visual inspection will not highlight serious underlying structural problems.
Lack of maintenance is a primary cause of deck failure. However there are a number of other causes including:
- corrosion or rotting timbers
- water exposure or termite attacks
- too many people on decking areas
- poor construction techniques used in self-made decks, or not having regular professional checks.
Deck or balcony checks by a professional licensed builder or structural engineer should be low-cost, quick and easy. Refer to the following organisations to find a licensed building professional:
- Housing Industry Association
- Master Builders
- Australian Institute of Building Surveyors or Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
- Engineers Australia
- Australian Institute of Architects (Queensland Chapter).
Details for local services are also available in the Yellow Pages.
If you have any questions about deck safety checks, or would like further information, contact a licensed building professional.