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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Australia
    Age
    41
    Posts
    34

    Default Planning steps for building a deck and awning

    Hello,
    I want to build a deck off the back of my house which I know will need council approval due to its size.
    What I would like to know is does anyone know the steps necessary to get the planning and drawings done?
    I am confident I can build the deck but drawing to council requirements is beyond me as I have heard you need site survey and more.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated especially if you know the average costs/fees on the steps.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Alexandra Vic
    Age
    64
    Posts
    2,538

    Default

    Planning and building permits requirements will vary state to state and may vary municipality to municipality within states as well. You may not get a lot of useful information or help via the forums unless you can be more specific about your location, "Australia" is a fairly all encompassing description. You might also find it worthwhile to make a scale sketch of the site showing existing and proposed improvements, trees, easements etc and take it to discuss with the relevant departments at your municipal office. They can give you some guidance as to what they will or won't allow, and what range of permits you will require. It would then pay to engage someone used to preparing proposals submitted within that municipality to do the final documentation. Someone who is cheaper but has never dealt with the municipality may be false economy if things need to be reworked a number of times to gain approval.
    I used to be an engineer, I'm not an engineer any more, but on the really good days I can remember when I was.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Melbourne, Vic, Australia
    Posts
    1,043

    Default

    I understand the need for permits but I really hate the fact you tend to pay a heap of money, waste a heap of time, and sometimes get zero value add in the process!

    I live in the western suburbs of melbourne. In my area you don't need a permit for a deck unless it is over 1m off the ground.
    You also don't need a permit for a Pergola / awning unless it is larger than 20m^2.
    Rules in your area may differ.

    If you have an easement then you will need a permit to build over or even near it.

    My experience with permits is that you can pay a fortune for drawings etc or if you find the right surveyor you may only need a sketch. Ring around. For a deck you shouldn't need much in the way of drawings.

    For my deck, pergola and awnings one place wanted a total of around $4500 for drawings and permit / surveyor fees whilst I ended up paying around $1300 through a structural engineer and his surveyor for everything including build over easement permits etc. Shop around. I didn't need anything more than a plan view drawing I sketched up in the end despite the first place telling me they needed to do detailed drawings etc.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Kilmore, near Melbourne, Australia
    Age
    61
    Posts
    1,895

    Default Planning steps for building a deck and awning

    Good design assistance and ensuring compliance with code is never a waste. But there are unscrupulous individuals (ripoff scumbags, if you prefer) who will charge exorbitant fees to people. There's a special place in hell for them.


    One poorly built structure leading to one dead or seriously injured person can ruin your day. And/or: life, when one is sued.

    Don't get me wrong, I agree it is a burden to jump through the council hoops but far too many people have built tarted-up garbage structures then sold their homes to unsuspecting people (basically anyone who isn't a building professional or gifted amateur/handyman)

    When the "fit hits the shan" who *should* be accountable isn't the issue. The homeowner is the one who will be prosecuted. No one wants that.

    Get advice. Get or do, suitable drawings - councils building departments will usually help advise what you need. After all it's their job and they work for us. Local papers can have ads for drawing professionals with local knowledge.

    Do it right. Do it once. Sleep at night knowing you've been a good steward of your property for yourself, your family/friends and future users.

    End of my extremely opinionated sermon
    Steve
    Kilmore (Melbourne-ish)
    Australia

    ....catchy phrase here

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Woodstock (Cowra)
    Age
    70
    Posts
    2,428

    Default

    Seriph1 is 100% correct.
    Where do you live and which council area you are in
    What category building zone are you in, (council will tell you)
    What size is your land and boundary setbacks to front rear and sides
    Topography of your land and adjoining neighbors land and house style

    These are the very basic initial questions that a good designer will ask before anything else, then you describe what you propose and a good designer will massage your idea into something council will approve and what your pocket can afford.
    The person who never made a mistake never made anything

    Cheers
    Ray

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    blue mountains
    Posts
    4,029

    Default

    I built a covered deck about 15 years ago and drew the plans myself for submission to council. You need to get the latest council building regulations to start with to ensure what you intend to build complies. Materials have to comply to australian standards. My council wanted drawings to scale plus a site plan showing the new structures position on the block. 3 copies of each. Then things like the bushfire zone you are in and a fire plan. Water run off collection. What trees and shrubs have to go. How the structure will affect the overall visual aspect so permission from other residents who will be affected. Is disabled access required? Plus whatever else the council require. It was a drawn out and at times for me frustrating process but I got it done in the end. You may also need to get a builders permit depending on cost of project. If you go down this path you'r first thing to do is go chat with the council get their regulations and be clear on what they require before you start.
    Good luck with the project
    Regards
    John

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Australia
    Age
    41
    Posts
    34

    Default

    Thanks for the replies with my obviously deficient post.
    I am located in the Blacktown council area. The awning I want to build will be 10.75m x 3.3m. The height of the deck will be 700mm at the heighest and 600mm at the lowest. I still want a balustrade though.
    I want it attached to the house and it is set back from the boundaries as required by council.
    I am interested in making sure I don't get ripped off being asked to get people in to do things that are not necessary to get it through council.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Lindfield N.S.W.
    Age
    58
    Posts
    5,557

    Default

    You can check with Service NSW to see if your proposal is an exempt development, a complying development (in which case there are simplified approval processes) or requires development consent from Council. That will help you see what you will need. I note that a 25 sq metre deck is exempt in most places in NSW
    Cheers

    Jeremy
    If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done quickly

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Australia
    Age
    41
    Posts
    34

    Default

    Thanks. I did check that website and it wants a site plan and therefore drawings. I have gone onto a couple of sites where they get three quotes for you and will contact those that respond. Tried a local draftsman but have not received a reponse(.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Australia
    Age
    41
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    Default

    I have had one quote so far for $1715 which includes drawings, an engineer for concrete footings and council submission.
    I am still confirming another one who has $900 for council application (exluding council fees), property info and drawings. No mention of engineer which is what I am confirming.
    Does anyone have knowledge of if either of these is correct or overpriced?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    35

    Default

    the draftsman fees seem fairly on point (we just had house extensions drawn up) but be ready to be reamed by the council... they are the proverbial wounded bull...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Australia
    Age
    41
    Posts
    34

    Default

    Thanks for the reply.
    Heard back from the local draftsman. He has said $1600 and if an engineer is required for concrete footings then I can expect around $150 extra.
    This leads me to believe that the local one overcharges for the drawing while the other overcharges for the engineer which may not even be required( while the other is considerably cheaper but does not even mention an engineer.
    None include council fees but from what I can tell they will only be $190.
    I wish there was some standardization in the process.
    I will now have to work out some a to compare them.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    used to live in Sydney, now it's Canada
    Age
    64
    Posts
    10,769

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Maddog78 View Post
    Heard back from the local draftsman. He has said $1600 and if an engineer is required for concrete footings then I can expect around $150 extra.
    This leads me to believe that the local one overcharges for the drawing while the other overcharges for the engineer which may not even be required( while the other is considerably cheaper but does not even mention an engineer.
    None include council fees but from what I can tell they will only be $110.
    I wish there was some standardization in the process.
    I will now have to work out some a to compare them.
    writing as an engineer, it's how it is.

    Where I sit, $1715 and $1750 are the same amount. There's no overcharging as such just different margins on different components.

    If I needed to choose between the two, I'd be asking questions around each draft-person's experience dealing with your local council.
    You have to look at the total project cost. If paying $2000 extra for your plans and council submission saves you $5000 during the build, you are way in front.
    regards from Canada

    ian

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Horsham Victoria
    Posts
    5,708

    Default

    If you go to the council and ask to see someone from the building department they may help you more than you think.

    While you may require an engineer for footings some councils/shires have a standard footing detail they are happy for you to use without having an engineer.

    If they are really friendly and you have good PR skills they may even tell you what size timbers you need and you could draw this up yourself.

    A decking is rather simple to draw. There are a few plans floating around the forum you could use as an idea of what and how to draw



    DaveTTC

    Turning Wood into Art

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Australia
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    41
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    Default

    Thanks for the advice DaveTTC. I went in and showed what I had drawn up so far and the on duty building surveyor said that what I had drawn up was good enough to submit. He also said that if I reviewed AS2870 and put in appropriately sized concrete foottings for my posts for highly reactive soil then the need for an engineer would be unlikely (not excluded altogether but unlikely). He also told me the other drawings I would need which is 4 more which I can do so I am going to do it myself. I have also been told I need engineering specs from the roofing supplier and the brackets I will be using on my roof which is all possible.
    My only problem is getting hold of AS2870. It seems they want people to buy it now so I am hoping somebody on here has a link to copy that I could get).
    Thanks all for the advice.

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