Building a deck | Brisbane City Council

Building a deck

""Before you add a deck to your house, check if you need planning approval. Find out the key facts about the property. These include zoning, overlays, lot size and if the property is included in a neighbourhood plan. 


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 make a planning application. The application needs 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
  • 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 or they were constructed before 1946, 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 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. 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 phone Council on 07 3403 8888.

17 October 2018