Do you need a permit to build a deck in NSW?

19 May 2017

One of the questions Renovation Auction staff are often asked is, ‘do I need a permit to build a deck?’ We know that you are probably grabbing what time is available to get your newly purchased decking timber in place. But, before you begin screwing down your timber decking, you really need to find out if your local Council requires you to have a planning permit or a building permit.

Planning Permit

One of the most confusing issues for all renovators is when you need a planning permit to lay timber decking. Simply because, many different Councils have different specification requirements for things like;

  • size of the deck
  • decking timber you’re using – softwood or hardwood
  • placement or positioning of the timber decking

The NSW Department of Planning and Development has identified a deck as being an ‘Exempt Development’ – meaning they might not need a permit to be built.

HOWEVER, timber decking needs to fulfil certain criteria to be considered an Exempt Development. A good example of one of the many standards decks must fit, before they are considered Exempt, is they must ‘have an area of not more than 25m2’. For the whole list of the NSW department of Planning and Development’s Exempt Development standards click here.

If the deck you are planning does not comply with all the Exempt Development standards, then you will need to apply to your local Council for a Complying Development permit before you start building your timber decking.

Building Permit

Building permits must be obtained before your decking is commenced. The permits are written statements that your decking project complies with safety and construction standards. Building Permits in NSW are handled by registered building surveyors, so you will need to meet with them to discuss your decking project.

As we said, whether you need a planning permit or a building permit to build a deck can seem a complicated process, however, it’s not rocket science. We advise you get in touch with your local Council or Call the NSW Department of Planning and Development to help understand the permit processes. Once you’ve already followed the process through once, applying for permits is relatively easy. And, as any good renovator, or owner/builder knows, getting permits is just a part of achieving your end goal.

Always remember, high quality decking timber is usually listed on premier Auction Warehouses in Sydney. And can often be purchased for well under retail price.

Pic @Michael Coghlan PRO

Purchase decking materials from Renovator Auctions in Sydney at very affordable prices.