Owner-builders face many steps before work starts
QWe would like to build a carport at the front of our home. We are not sure if it’s permitted but, if possible, we’d choose to match it to our home with brick piers and a tiled roof. We have contacted a number of builders, but they either want the plans ready to build or they only build homes. What would be the best approach to building it ourselves?
AThere are a number of builders who specialise in small additions and would be happy to assist in the design and construction of your carport. If you are still considering using a registered builder, I suggest you look at Master Builders WA website “Find A Member” link.
To build the carport you will need to start with the drawings. A good designer will be able to advise on the planning requirements of the location and on vehicle access requirements. The Residential Design Codes and Local Planning policies apply to development on residential lots and may include limitations or requirements for the design. Once you are confident you can build the carport, you will need a building permit. This requires documentation that is ready for construction. It is prudent to have your site surveyed by a licensed land surveyor to check the location of the lot boundary, vegetation and structures, and site levels, and a structural engineer to check site conditions and provide the structural design.
Where the value of work exceeds $20,000, you will need approval as an owner-builder from the Building Commission. Information on the application is available on the website www.commerce.wa.gov.au/ building-commision. If you manage the project yourself, you have the same obligation for compliance as a registered builder for building and safety standards.
Make sure you do your research before building a carport on your property.