Do I Need Council Permission to Build a Retractable Roof?

Retractable roof with timber

In most parts of Australia and New Zealand, fine weather regularly provides us with opportunities to spend time outdoors. However, if you want to enjoy the outdoors without exposure to harsh UV rays, installing a shading system like a retractable roof to control the climate in your outdoor areas can be very beneficial.

Installing a retractable roof system allows you to adjust the level of shade, protect yourself from the rain, or even enjoy the warm rays of a winter’s day. Aside from adding a stylish entertaining area outdoors, the retractable roof is long-lasting and user-friendly – a true lifestyle enhancing product.

A covered outdoor area that can adjust to year-round weather conditions is a significant investment. It can add value and attraction to your home or business, boosting the resale value of your property. As of 2017, the return on investment (ROI) of adding a pergola to a patio is estimated to be around 50%. Just imagine how much more appealing and valuable a fully retractable roof system would be to potential buyers.

Why is Council Approval Important?

Council Approval is critical in executing any renovation project around your home, property, or business establishment. We highly recommend you seek approval before starting to construct anything significant to avoid undesirable circumstances or any consequences coming your way during or after your renovation. After all, no one likes a council representative knocking at your door and asking you to tear down a finished structure (most of the time at your cost).

How to Determine if Your Improvement Needs Approval?

Alfresco Dining with Retractable Roof

We need to look into four broad zoning categories: residential, commercial, agricultural and industrial. These categories have different specific rules, regulations, and policies related to buildings and extensions depending on the state you are in – so it’s essential to check out the zoning of your property.

You can check property zoning based on the following areas:

  • The zoning category
  • Objectives of the land
  • What developments are allowed with or without approval
  • Hazards or Protections in the area

Types of development

Each type of development requires different approval processes. Your renovations may fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Exempt Developments 

This development requires no approval. Installation of decks, patios, and retractable roof or retractable pergolas are a few of the many developments that can be constructed on your property without approval; however, there are strict regulations implemented for this development. Remember that the councils can order the structure to be taken down if it doesn’t follow the proper regulations.

  1. Complying Developments

For a development that requires fast-tracked approval. This includes construction of buildings larger than exempt developments and generally needed to be authorised by a building professional. This includes building a pool, a fence or renovating a home.

Check Laws or Legislations in Your Local Area 

Since every development has different specific rules, regulations, and policies depending on the place you live, make sure to check laws in your local area before starting any commitment. You may not need council approval, but you may need to comply with laws and legislations set in place by the local government, given that you are allowed for example, to build a retractable roof or pergola so long as it doesn’t cause any destruction to your neighbours or damage their property.

The essential step to start your renovation project is obtaining permission from your neighbours. Ensure there will be no water and power lines affected in the area where renovation will take place. The best way to keep everything in its proper place is to contact your local council to learn more.

Essentially, when it comes to permissions and approvals, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so ask the questions and do your research or even better, check with an authorised installer and you can’t go wrong.

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