bléuscape design

Q & A 101 – What building work/s do I need a building permit for?

This week we are continuing on with our Q&A regarding some fundamental questions associated with the design and construction process. This post will be addressing the question: What construction works need a building permit? Feel free to also write to us if you need to discuss anything further.



  • Additions to dwellings or other. Yes


  • Structural. Yes
  • Removal of alteration to a load bearing part of the building. Yes
  • Demolition. Yes


  • Must be open on sides and without doors or gates on these sides. Yes
  • At least 1/3 of the perimeter must be open. Yes
  • Must have adequate roof water discharge. Yes
  • Must not be higher than 4.5m above natural ground level with an average height of no more than 3.5m. Yes
  • Maximum length along the boundary must not be more than 9 meters. Yes
  • It must not be closer than 1.5m to neighbours windows. Yes


  • Defined as an enclosed carport with a door. Yes


  • Less than 10m2. No
  • Not above natural ground. No
  • No higher than 2.4m. No
  • No more than 5m on boundary. No
  • More than 10m2 and higher than 1m from natural ground. Yes

Roofed Decks. Yes


  • No mYore than 2m in height above natural ground level. No
  • Construction of a side boundary fence more than 2m high. Yes

Retaining Walls

  • Less than 1m in height from natural ground level and no closer than 1.5m to an existing building or structure and clear of sewer manholes and easements. No
  • More than 1m in height from natural ground. Yes


  • Is no more than 10m2. No
  • Height is no more than 2.4m. No
  • A mean height no more than 2.1m above natural ground level. No
  • Any side of the building structure is no longer than 5.0m. No
  • Roof water must not be a nuisance to neighbours. No
  • More than 10m2. Yes

Water Tanks

  • For any new dwelling – Minimum of 5000L. Yes

Existing Dwellings

  • If it is located further than 450mm from any property boundary. No
  • If it is less than 2.4m high, including stand. No
  • The side of the tank is less than 5m in length. No
  • If it is submerged of semi-submerged, the tank does not extend further than one metre in-ground. No
  • It is attached to a building, the tank is no closer than 900mm to any other building on the property. No

The above information is adapted from the Brisbane City Council Website and is intended as a guide only.  Specific information should be obtained from Council’s building division.




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