Building a deck

""If you are adding a deck to your house, you will first need to find out the key facts about the property (zoning, overlays, lot size and if the property is included in a neighbourhood plan) and then use the following information to find out if your deck needs planning approval. 

Definition

A ‘deck’ is not separately defined in Brisbane City Plan 2014; it is included in the definition ‘dwelling house’.

Planning approval for decks

Building a deck may not require planning approval from Council.

A PD Online property enquiry can help you determine if the proposal requires Council approval. You can also phone 07 3403 8888 to speak to a town planner. 

Alternatively, a building certifier or consultant can confirm whether you will need planning approval.

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, you will need to to make a planning application to address specific building requirements outlined in the Traditional building character overlay (demolition) code and the Traditional Building character (design) overlay code.

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 any demolition works
  • 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.

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 your deck or balcony is made from timber or constructed before 1946, Council encourages you to arrange a professional structural safety check of your deck or balcony. 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 the 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. Please refer to the following organisations to find a licensed building professional: 

  • Housing Industry Association
  • Master Builders
  • Australian Institute of Building Surveyors or RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors)
  • 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 phone Council on 07 3403 8888.

09 September 2016