Brisbane Council Patio Building Regulations

Know What Approval You Need To Build A Patio

Brisbane Council Patio Building Regulations

Adding a patio can make your home nicer. But you need to follow Brisbane City Council rules. This article explains key patio building regulations. We cover planning and building approvals, setbacks, safety additions, drainage and more. Use this guide to make sure your patio meets requirements.

Do I Need Approval to Build a Patio in Brisbane?

If you want to add an outdoor living area, you surely have questions about council approvals. Getting the right permits for your patio can seem hard, but this guide breaks down the key steps. We’ll cover planning and approvals, patio regulations, the construction process, costs and tips for a smooth build.

Planning Approval For Patios in Brisbane

For most properties, planning approval from City Council is not required to build a patio. As long as you meet requirements around size, height, setbacks from boundaries and overlay codes, you can proceed to approval stage.

However, if your home is heritage listed, located in a character area or next to a waterway, specific planning permits may be needed. Check with a building designer or council to determine if planning approval is necessary.

Building Approval For Brisbane Patios

While planning permission may not be needed, you do need approval to build any standalone outdoor structure. The patio building application lets council check and OK your plans against rules.

It makes sure your new patio will be safe, easy to access, eco-friendly and finished properly. It also means your house will keep the right zoning if you sell later.

Key Patio Building Regulations in Brisbane

Spaces from bounds

Depending on size, patios usually need at least 450mm from the property line. Roof edges and other small structures can hang over the bound by max 450mm.

Fire safety

Any walls less than 900mm from bounds need fire protection. Treated wood frames are often used.

Water drainage

Surface water from the roof and area must drain away from buildings and lines. Allow for gutters and downpipes.

Traditional Building Character Overlay

Homes in traditional style areas have extra design rules for roof shape, materials and details.


For patio levels 600mm+ above ground, balustrades are generally needed. They must be 700-1100mm high and not climbable by kids.

Termite management

Physical and chemical barriers against termites are required for patios joined to other structures.

Building Approval For Brisbane Patios

The Patio Building Approval Process in Brisbane

Follow this typical process to build a code-compliant patio:

1. Check zoning rules

Use the patio building needs above as a guide. Also check if planning permit is needed.

2. Design patio plans

Work with a draftsman or architect to draw patio diagrams that meet rules.

3. Hire a certifier

A building certifier checks and approves/rejects your final plans. They also inspect work.

4. Apply to council

Submit your approved plans and form to council with fees around $850 plus $190 for final check.

5. Get approval

Council checks the application against zoning laws then issues a Decision Notice if happy typically within 10 business days.

6. Start build

After getting Decision Notice and Inspection Notice, start patio. Call your certifier for needed checks.

7. Final inspection

When the patio is done, the inspector checks it meets rules then council gives a Final Certificate.

Tips for a Smooth Brisbane Patio Building Project

  • Make sure your patio design fits zoning rules at the start to avoid later problems.
  • Hire good trades like carpenters who are licensed, insured and know patios.
  • Talk to neighbours before applying to address worries early.
  • Get all paperwork approved before starting build to avoid illegal work.
  • Follow the certifier’s advice on materials, foundations, tie-downs etc to pass checks.

How Much Do Building Inspectors Charge to Review a Patio?

When you apply to council to build a patio, you need a private building certifier to check and OK the project. Their fees often cover:

  • Review of Plans – To check and approve the design plans follow the rules. Typically $250-$600.
  • Needed Inspections – Checks during build and at the end to ensure it’s structurally sound and follows codes. About $200 per visit.
  • Travel Fees – If they’re located far from the site. Usually around $1.50 per km.
  • Administration – For paperwork, reports and issuing the final certificate. Approx $100-$150.

For a basic 15 sqm patio, certifier costs often range $800 – $1500 depending on inspection visits.

Many homeowners spend more on an experienced certifier to prevent issues during build and sign-off. Get fee quotes upfront and check what’s included.

Are There Any Exemptions to Brisbane’s Patio Building Codes?

Brisbane City Council provides exemptions from planning and minor building laws for simple shade structures:

  • Pergolas below 2.4m in height and 10 sqm in area do not need approvals, provided boundary setbacks are met.
  • Similarly, free-standing shade sails do not require approval if under 5m height.
  • Pre-fabricated carports also avoid the need for building applications when placed appropriately.

However, exemptions have limits on roofed spaces, supports, sizes and space from bounds. Check rules for your case if chasing an exemption.

Basically, exemptions only apply to open structures for basic shade – not fully closed entertaining patios with roofs. Standalone living structures generally need approval.

What if I Don’t Follow Brisbane’s Patio Building Laws?

While the approval process tries to facilitate patio additions, ignoring council’s planning and building regulations can cause issues like:

  • Having to redo non-compliant building works (at high cost).
  • Facing complaints and orders from neighbours about boundaries, privacy and drainage.
  • Struggling to sell the property later due to unapproved structures.
  • Fines for contravening planning rules (up to $50k for individuals and $250k for corporations).
  • Loss of home insurance coverage for non-compliant patios causing property damage.

Getting professional design input and adhering to patio regulations may add initial time/cost but saves longer term headaches.

Are Other Approvals Needed for Patio Construction?

Alongside council’s planning and building requirement, also factor in potential needs for:

  • Boundary Allowance – If your patio goes over bounds by less than 50%. Need approval from affected neighbours.
  • Home Change Approval – For disability access or ageing in place. Allows different building standards.
  • Strata Permission – For patio add-ons to units under community rules. Get an agreement certificate from the strata group.

Getting the right permits may take more steps but gives your patio the green light.

Other Approvals Needed for Patio Construction


While Brisbane patio building rules try to allow outdoor upgrades, knowing key planning and approvals prevents issues. Carefully designed patio plans that meet area requirements ensure an easy council process. Review space from bounds, tie-downs, roof shapes and materials needed nearby. Get professional help from our licensed builders at Smart Patios Brisbane to navigate rules and certifier approvals for a good patio addition that maximises outdoor living.