The Building Code of Australia (BCA) classifies carports as Class 10 building projects along with decks, pergolas, garages and other non-habitable structures. While carport builders must be able to build carports in accordance with BCA specifications, a full builders licence may not be required by state building authorities.
NSW Fair Trading classifies carport builders as part of the building trade. If a carport is valued at $1000 or more, the work must be carried out by a licensed builder. One or both of two types of licences may apply to your carport:
If you are having a metal carport installed, the installer may need to hold a metal fabrication licence. In most cases, aluminium and other metal carports come in kit form. In this case, the appropriate licence is for the erection of prefabricated metal framed home additions and structures, which specifically includes "carports, garages, workshops, sheds and other similar additions and structures".
If you want to have a carport that's valued at $5000 or more built on your premises in Victoria, it will have to be built by a Registered Building Practitioner (RBP), which is the Victorian equivalent to a licensed builder in other states. If the work carried out by the registered practitioner does not include habitable structures, they will probably hold a Domestic Builder - Limited (DB-L) registration card. Their registration card may also include restrictions and/or endorsements for specific types of building work.
The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) issues building and building-related licences. Any structure valued at $3300 or more must receive a building permit. In order to receive a building permit, the structure must be built by a licensed builder or homeowner with an owner-builder permit.
Three basic types of builders' licences are available in Queensland:
Only a contractor can enter into a contract with you and a nominee or site supervisor will have to oversee or carry out the construction of the carport.
The QBCC authorises licensed builders, carpenters and joiners to construct carports. Any of these licences is acceptable and will include the pouring of a slab for the carport and construction of a timber or metal carport if only metal carport components are used in construction.
Any type of building work in SA must be carried out by or under the supervision of at least one of two categories of licences issued by the Consumer and Building Services (CBS) sector of the South Australian Attorney Generals Department:
A Building Contractor must also be registered as a Building Supervisor. If a contractor does not directly supervise building work, they must nominate a registered supervisor to oversee construction.
In South Australia, residential building work is divided into three categories:
A carport builder can carry a licence limited to alterations and extensions or may hold another type of residential builder's licence.
In WA, a building permit is needed to build any new structure, addition or alteration to a house at ground level. If the total cost of the project exceeds $20,000, a registered builder must supervise the project or the homeowner must obtain an owner-builder permit.
Since most carports cost well under $20,000, you probably won't need to hire a licensed contractor to carry out the work. To ensure your work meets or exceeds BCA standards, only hire carport builders with a track record of service in your community.
The Tasmanian Department of Justice governs building work in Tasmania. Department of Justice accreditation is the equivalent to a trade licence in other states. Most reputable carport builders in Tasmania will be accredited contractors. This entitles them to enter into contracts with clients. Accredited builders also must hold public liability and professional indemnity insurance.
Builders in the ACT are divided into four general classifications:
Carports are considered non-habitable structures.
Construction Occupation Licences are issued by the ACT Planning and Land Authority (ACTPLA). Your carport builder's licence should clearly state the Class of licence they hold and may also include endorsements or restrictions. For example, a Class D builder may be endorsed to construct some types of carports.
In the NT, there is no general requirement for a licensed builder to construct a carport. However, some counties in the NT require Home Improvement licences issued by the council for all home improvement projects valued at $3000 or more. Check with your local council to see if this is the case in your area. If a licence is not required, the person or company that carries out the work should be a registered business and carry insurance.