Carports are essential. They increase the value and curb appeal of a residential property, providing the car owner with a safe place to house their vehicle and also reduce their car insurance premiums.
There are, however, many considerations that come with constructing a carport and they vary from council to council. It is not possible to erect a carport without governmental permission and permission is not always granted – having more than one vehicle does not even guarantee that one can erect a carport for each car, for example.
It is crucial to identify the needed approvals before homeowners proceed to do some home upgrades and renovations. It is also necessary to be aware of the standards that must be complied with. This will help save time, resources and ensure a smooth construction and erection process.
What is a Carport?
A carport is a covered structure built to house a vehicle. Carports are open on at least two sides, and they are usually built beside the house. In NSW, only one carport is allowed per one residential structure on a lot. If there are two dwellings on a lot, then two carports may be erected.
What are Exempt Developments?
Some minor works and renovations are usually considered exempt development, which means they do not require planning and building approval. Exempt developments are low-impact development activities that may be done on residential, commercial, and even industrial properties. For a renovation to be considered as exempt development it must:
- be structurally adequate or satisfying the provisions in the Building Code of Australia.
- not cause an existing building to violate the Building Code of Australia.
- not be built on:
Some exempt developments include but are not limited to the following:
- Access Ramps, Aerials and Antennas, Air-conditioning Units
- Animal Shelters, Aviaries
- Automatic Teller Machines
- Awnings, Blinds, and Canopies
- Balconies, Verandahs, Pergolas, Terraces, Decks, Patios, and
- Outdoor Cooking Structures, Clothes Hoists and Lines
- Bollards, Carports
- Gazebos, Cabanas, Greenhouses, Cubby Houses, Ferneries, and Garden Sheds
- Recycling and Charity Bins
- Emergency Works and Repairs
- Farm Buildings, Grain Silos and Bunkers
- Fences, Footpaths, Landscaping Structures
- Rainwater Tanks
- Skylights and Roof Windows,
Since carports fall under ‘exempt development’ guidelines, they can be constructed without planning and building approval. However, they need to comply with specific construction and development standards.
What Standards Should a Carport Comply With?
Carports considered as an exempt development should be made of:
- Metal parts and components
- Low reflective and factory pre-coloured materials
- be made of non-combustible material if it is located in a bush fire prone location and within 5m away from the main house.
Carports considered as an exempt development should:
- have a floor area not exceeding:
- 20 sq/m for land plots with up to 300sq/m.
- 50 sq/m for land plots larger than 300 sq/m in rural zones and residential zone R5.
- 25 sq/m for land plots larger than 300 sq/m in other residential zones.
- be built at least 1m behind the building line facing the road.
- be open on at least two sides and one-third of the carport’s total perimeter.
- be at a specific distance from the land plot’s boundaries.
- have proper rainwater disposal connected to an existing drainage system.
- Be lower than 3m above ground, but higher than the roof gutter line, if it is attached to an existing structure.
- have a roof development at least 500mm from the land plot’s boundaries.
- not affect or reduce vehicular access or parking or loading or unloading, and other similar activities.
Carports considered as an exempt development should NOT be built:
- on a lot with heritage items.
- on a foreshore area.
- with a new driveway.
When Will I Need a Permit?
A homeowner will need a permit for their carport if the carport is constructed in a lot with heritage items or a foreshore area. If the building of the carport will require that some trees and vegetations be cut, the homeowner should check with the local council if permits are needed.
Even if they are temporary, any structure, including carports, must obtain separate approval from the concerned council and the Roads and Maritime Services. A new driveway leading to the carport will also entail a permit and approval from the road authorities.
What Are the Other Carport Construction Considerations?
- Carports can only be built on land plots less than 8m wide when the lot is connected to a secondary or parallel road in residential zones.
- Carports must be at least 5.5 metres from the primary road boundary If near the primary road.
- For battle-axe lots, the vehicle must be able to exit facing forward.
- Only work with experienced and skilled engineers and tradies to build your carport.
In Need of a Carport?
While some may claim that you can build a carport yourself, it is clear that taking matters into your own hands can be quite tied up with red tape. Save your time, money and energy and leave it to a company that understands all the relevant legislation and can complete work on-time within a set budget.
Contact Hunter Patios and Additions for Your Patio or Carport
Choose Hunter Patios and Additions. We build carports that are functional and aesthetically pleasing. We are committed to giving our customers only the best quality, reliable and stylish home additions, using our 35-years of experience and our unparalleled commitment to our customer’s satisfaction
We are looking forward to talking with you about your carport needs in NSW.