Extensions, raising and renovations

""Before you start an extension or renovation, or if you want to raise your home, you should first find out the key facts about the property and then use the following information to find out if your project needs planning approval.

House extensions that require Brisbane City Council approval

Houses that do not comply with the Dwelling house code or Dwelling house (small lot) code

All extensions and renovations to an existing house will need to comply with the requirements of either the Dwelling house code or the Dwelling house (small lot) code.

If a proposal does not comply with all of the acceptable outcomes of the relevant code, a planning application will need to be lodged with Council. Common things that trigger an application to Council are building height over 9.5 metres, and front, rear and side boundary setbacks for a house on a small lot.

To find out if your proposal triggers a planning application, you should seek advice from a building certifier.

Houses in the Traditional building character overlay

Some extensions and renovations to a pre-1946 house in the Traditional building character overlay will need planning approval from Council.

If the house was constructed in 1946 or earlier, some demolition works that are required in order to undertake the extension or renovation may require assessment against the Traditional building character (demolition) overlay code.

For external extensions to all houses in the Traditional building character overlay, regardless of the age of the house, a planning application is likely required.

Where extensions trigger a planning application, they are required to comply with the Traditional building character (design) overlay code and either the Dwelling house code or the Dwelling house (small lot) code.

Renovations that involve internal works only are not likely to require planning approval from Council.

To find out if your proposal triggers a planning application, you should seek advice from a building certifier.

Exempt Minor building work

Brisbane City Plan 2014 identifies the circumstances where Minor building work in the Traditional building character overlay is exempt from assessment against the planning scheme. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • enclosing under an existing building
  • an external stair or ramp
  • a carport at the front or side of the house (specific circumstances apply)
  • a carport, garage, shed or other outbuilding at the rear of the building
  • raising a house where the new height does not exceed 9.5 metres.

These requirements are detailed in Table 5.3.4.1 - Prescribed exempt development in the City Plan.

To find out if your proposal is Minor building work, you should seek advice from a building certifier.

Building approval

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 demolition work
  • if any building approval is required.

Private building certifiers and building consultants can be found using the Queensland Building and Construction Commission's Find a Local Contractor search.

Other permits you will need

You will need other permits in addition to planning and building approval, such as:

17 July 2014