Do I need To Obtain a Permit to Build In My Yard?

It is easy to think that you can do whatever you like in your own yard; after all you have purchased the land and your property. However, before you can build it is worth checking whether you need a permit.

If you build without a permit when one is required you can be forced to remove the building. That’s a lot of time and money you don’t want to expend!

The general guideline is that a building permit will be required if you wish to change the shape or structure of your home. This includes building in your yard, especially if it will be attached to your home.

It also includes knocking down load bearing walls, adding window openings or even for knocking down any structure over 40sqm.

Speak To Planning

Your local planning office will be able to tell you if a permit is needed. You usually don’t need them if you want to place a shed in your yard; however even this is subject to the size and location.

This is why it is essential to speak to Geosurv and have a proper survey done on your land first. You can then draw up the plans for what you wish to build and speak to planning. They will tell you whether you need planning permission or not.

If you do you’ve already done most of the work to apply, it will simply delay your start date by a couple of weeks.

Common Scenarios Where A Permit Is Needed

You can usually build a carport, garage or shed providing it is less than 2.4m high and less than 10 sqm. It should also be at least 1m from your boundary line and not connected to an existing structure. If this is not the case you’ll probably need a permit.

Fences will also need a permit if they are going to be over 2m high or within 3m of a street boundary.
Decks are usually okay unless you are building more than 80cm above ground level. If this is the case privacy laws may apply and a permit will be needed.
Verandahs are actually classed as a building extension because they are joined to your home. This means you’ll need permission to erect them.
Pergolas do not need to be connected to your house and they are not a roofed structure in the same way as a shed or garage. Providing you keep it below 3.6m and less than 20sqm it will not need permission.

It also must be within 2.5m of the front wall of your house.
Any retaining wall
Any retaining wall over 1m will need a permit. This is to ensure it is built to the right safety standards.

In fact this is the general reason for any permit being needed. If your building conforms to building regs it is less likely to cause an injury to you or anyone else.

It is always advisable to check before you build, your neighbor may have good intentions but they don’t always know the current regulations.

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