A guide to roofed outdoor structure building permits

Darren Wallis
3 min read

A new construction project at your home can be an exciting prospect. You’ve probably noticed that many of your neighbours have added structures with roofs to their properties.

These attractive and functional additions you’re seeing are mostly carports, verandahs and pergolas. A carport provides a parking area with a sturdy and protective roof that shields your vehicle from the elements. A verandah or pergola can instantly transform your yard into a relaxing outdoor sheltered oasis perfect for year round entertaining.

If it’s time to add a special addition to your property, you can be as creative or practical as you want to be. One of the biggest issues people run into during the design and planning stages is figuring out if a permit is required when adding an outdoor structure like a carport, verandah or pergola.

If you’re in the process of picking out a design for yourself, there are a few things to take into consideration before you break ground on the project.

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The types of permits needed for carports and other structures with roofs

You can’t start bringing a design to life by excavating or laying down materials until you’ve researched and acquired the necessary permits.

The potential consequence of failing to obtain a permit is tearing up your new construction and starting from scratch.

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In fact, many people hire a friend or family member to build a carport, pergola or verandah without considering that work done without a permit is considered illegal. This is one big reason why hiring a professional builder with experience creating outdoor structures is so beneficial.

You should never assume that a component of any project does not require a permit. In fact, most constructions involving a carport, verandah or pergola will require some type of permit.

Features that typically require permits include:

  • Any closed roof structure.
  • Any structure attached to a house.
  • High structures.
  • Footings.

There are two types of permits to consider when drafting up the design of something you want to build on your property. These two permit types are:

  • Planning permits- which cover details regarding the look and size of your new construction. It will also cover the boundaries involved.
  • Building permits- which cover the technical aspects of your project. This permit also covers compliance with safety regulations.

Different permit regulations for carports, verandahs and pergolas

Not every structure with a roof is treated the same as far as permits are concerned. In fact, each type of construction has its own set of rules regarding materials, structural integrity and construction standards.

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It is important to pinpoint the exact category your new construction fits into before you apply for permits. Here is a description for each type of structure:

  • A verandah is an open or partly open portion of a home or building. It is covered by a main roof or separate roof.
  • A carport is a roofed structure with a primary purpose of sheltering motor vehicles.
  • A pergola is an open-roofed framework over a patio or garden area. It is supported on posts or columns.

Permit costs

Permits do cost money. The cost of each permit will vary from council to council. A professional builder will be able to give you an accurate estimate of the cost in your specific area during the design process.

Of course, paying a small one-time fee for a permit is much cheaper in the long run than paying hefty non-compliance fines. In addition, the financial consequences of injuries due to non-compliance are exponentially higher than permit fees.

A final word

The bottom line is that permits can be confusing. Taking a relaxed attitude or ignoring permit requirements could lead to a long and costly headache down the road.

Imagine how painful it would be to tear down a perfectly beautiful pergola, verandah or carport simply because you didn’t file the necessary paperwork to erect it. A professional builder should be able to offer you guidance regarding permit requirements at your property.

Darren Wallis

Darren Wallis is a registered builder and leading expert in pergolas, carports and verandahs. As a founder of Modern Solutions, he has applied for council and building permits for countless projects in the Melbourne area. His team specialises in creating attractive, functional outdoor spaces for residents of Melbourne.

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This is a great article! There is definitely some very useful and valuable information in here that I will be keeping for my future resources. Thanks for sharing such a great article!


I already have a verandah which Is attached to my room, In the second floor I’m planning to put a roof and a Wall , like flex glass , Do I need a building permit?


Hi buddy,

This is a great article! There is definitely some very useful and valuable information in here that I will be keeping for my future resources. Thanks for sharing such a great article!


I want to make sure that my deck is nice. I didn’t even think about having a verandah installed! That would definitely make it much nicer to be on. I wouldn’t have to worry about getting sunburned! http://www.precisionshedsep.com.au/contact

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