Legal Requirements For Building Carports in Brisbane

Carport Building Regulations

Learn The Rules & Regulations For Brisbane Carport Builders

Council Approval Before Building Your Carport

Constructing a carport on your home can be great for the protection of your vehicles, the functionality of your house, and the value of your property. Carports are relatively simple to build and can be completed in little time, but before the project can be started you must take care of the legal requirements from the Brisbane City Council placed on you as the home owner. There are several things to consider before you take on a carport building project such as the zoning rights of your property, the legal limits for siting of the project, necessary approvals, and lot constraints. If you have building experience you may be able to perform the construction yourself. Alternatively there are a range of different carport building companies in and around Brisbane that will be able to design and construct for you and (in most cases) handle all the paperwork for getting council approval prior to beginning the project. Michael Thomas from Pro Carports Brisbane was interviewed about their companies procedures and commented “We handle all council approvals for our clients which comes as part of our package, we find customers prefer to stay out of the paperwork and just work with us on the design concepts”. “We also found this to be a great selling point, it’s a win, win for property owners, although we spend extra time at the council office” he added.

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Your residential property can be placed into one of a number of different zoning categories. Zoning is decided by the local government. It depends on the area of your property and it will have an effect on what you can or cannot do without city county approval. Those living in Brisbane can find out the zoning of their property through the interactive mapping found online at the Brisbane City Council website.

Carport building projects require building approval in all zones, but the zones which do not require the owners to seek city council approval for carport projects are as follows:

  • Environmental management zone
  • Emerging community zone
  • Rural zone
  • Rural residential zone
  • Township zone


Other than these, there are some zones which do not require city council approval when also located in the Dwelling house character overlay. These locations require dwelling houses or any proposed additions to houses to adhere to strict building standards in order to protect the character of the area they are located in. Zones within the Dwelling house character that don’t need city council approval are as follows:

  • Low density residential zone
  • Low-medium density residential zone
  • Medium density residential zone
  • Character residential zone

Lot Size Constraints

Lot Size Constraints

Designs for your carport need to live up to the Dwelling house code if you are on a regular lot larger than 450m(^2). This code specifies the safety requirements of the structure, size restrictions, the building code, and other specifications. It also states where a carport can and cannot be built on your property without city council approval. Some limitations exist where a proposed structure would be built too close to certain boundaries around the property, such as a nearby public road. If you wish to build your carport to any specifications that do not live up to the Dwelling house code, you must seek city council approval.

On lots smaller than 450m(^2), you are required to follow the Dwelling house (small lot) code specifications for any structure you wish to build. This code also dictates standards which your carport should follow in terms of safety, size, building code, locations, etc. Those working under this code may find the location standards harder to meet, depending on how close their proposed location is to boundaries around the lot. Both of these codes apply to those who are operating under self-assessable development or assessable development.

Self-Assessable Development Versus Assessable Development

Based on the zoning of your property and the type of project you seek to complete, your building project can be self-assessable or assessable. To find out which category your project will fit into, you can check out the Brisbane City Council’s Brisbane City Plan 2014 interactive mapping here. There are different requirements for each of these developmental categories. Here are the differences between the two:

1. Self-Assessment

Those building carports in the above mentioned zones are seeking to complete self-assessable projects in most cases. What this means is that the owner of the property can go forward with the planning and building without seeking special Brisbane City Council approval. A building approval permit is required regardless, but the advantage of self-assessable projects is that you do not have to ask for approval in the designs of your carport as long as it adheres to the standards placed on structures by the zoning code and any other overlays applicable to your area. If you wish to deviate from the self-assessment standards and requirements in any way, you will be required to seek approval for those deviations from the Brisbane City Council.

2. Assessable

If you are building a carport categorized as assessable, you must seek approval from the Brisbane City Council to go forward with your project. This happens most frequently due to your property’s zoning, but it can also occur in other circumstances such as when you wish to build outside of the standards placed on your self-assessable building project. The disadvantage of assessable projects is the need to wait until the city council approves the design in order to go forward in the building of your carport. If you try to go ahead with the project without getting this approval you can be subject to numerous consequences imposed by the local government.

Building Approval

Building Approval

No matter what other conditions surround the building of your carport, you will be required to seek out a building permit in order to start the construction on your property. If you are building it along with a dwelling house, there is no extra approval needed as it is included with the dwelling house building permit. If you plan to build a carport as an addition to your current dwelling house, you will need to apply for a building permit. To do this, you must prepare and scale detailed plans with an architect or a draftsperson. Once this is done, take those plans to a building certifier who can approve your building permit. Those who are building assessable category carports will need to seek out their design approval from city council before applying for a building permit.

Summary and Further Research

Building a carport in Brisbane is a relatively simple process, but you must make sure to follow the legal processes set out. Many of the resources you need to find information about your project’s category and requirements can be found online at the Brisbane City Council official website. You will need to be aware of the zoning of your property, any applicable overlays or neighbourhood plans, and constraints placed on the lot size you plan to build on. Those in need of further assistance with how to adhere to building standards can seek out the help of their architect or draftsperson to apply local standards to their carport project.

Further Reading

Brisbane City Council