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Patio Builders

Patio builders fall into a grey area of the builder's trade. Generally considered a "non-habitable structure," a patio builder usually needs to carry a trade licence, but the licence may be restricted to patios, structural landscaping or non-habitable structures only.

Patio Builders - New South Wales

In New South Wales, a patio builder may need one or both of these trade licences:

  • A structural landscaping licence authorises the builder to construct patios, pergolas and other non-habitable outdoor structures.
  • If a patio builder erects kit or pre-fabricated patios made from any kind of metal, they need to hold a licence for "erection of prefabricated metal framed home additions and structures." This licence does not include erection of metal-framed homes.

Patio Builders - Victoria

The Building Practitioners Board (BPB) regulates the building industry in Victoria. In Victoria, all building work over the value of $5,000 (materials and labour) must be carried out or supervised by a registered builder.

The registration system in Victoria is the equivalent to the licensing system in other states. The BPB divides builders into 3 broad classes:

  1. Domestic Builder – Unlimited (DB-U)
  2. Domestic Builder – Limited (DB-L)
  3. Domestic Builder – Manager (DB-M)

In addition, further code letters designate the type of work a builder is authorised to carry out. A patio builder in Victoria may have DB-L registration card limited to structural landscaping, which has an additional code letter "U".

Patio Builders - Queensland

All builders in Queensland are governed by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission. In Queensland, all construction jobs valued at $3,300 or more must be carried out by licensed builders. As in other states, a Queensland builders licence can be open or restricted. Patio builders in Queensland should hold at least a "Builder Restricted to Structural Landscaping" licence. Builders of metal patios may also hold a Non Structural Metal Fabrication and Installation (NSMF) licence.

Patio Builders - South Australia

Two types of builder's licences exist in South Australia:

  1. A building contractor is authorised to enter into a contract with a client
  2. A building supervisor is authorised to supervise work on behalf of a contractor

Apprentices may carry apprentice licences, but are not authorised to independently carry out building work, whether salaried or with a view towards selling a product.

In addition to the broad licence categories, a builder might hold a licence restricted to certain "standard conditions." A patio builder may be restricted to building "pre-fabricated steel framed" patios only or "non-habitable" timber structures.

Patio Builders - Western Australia

Building-related tradespersons in WA are licensed by the Building Services Board. Under the Builders’ Registration Act 2011, individuals, partnerships and companies that undertake building work valued over $20,000 or work that requires a building permit must have one or both of two types of building licences. Exceptions are non-structural and non-habitable structures such as patios and pergolas, which do not have to be built by licensed tradies. However, professional patio builders in WA will usually hold a business licence.

A person working on their own from their home may have a Home Occupation Licence issued by their local council. A larger business working from a business premise will have a different type of business licence. In either case, a business licence holder in a building-related trade must adhere to Building Code Australia (BCA) regulations.

If your patio builder specialises in metal kit patios, they will probably hold a “Structural Steel Erection Services” licence. Also look for a “Metal roof fixing” licence.

In some parts of WA, specific home improvement licences may be needed. Check with your local council to find out what's needed in your area.

Patio Builders - Tasmania

The Department of Justice governs building work in Tasmania. Building practitioners are “accredited” rather than “licensed” by the Department of Justice.

A builder in Tasmania may be accredited in one or both of two categories:

  1. Builder or
  2. Construction Manager

Only accredited builders are authorised to enter into contracts with clients in Tasmania.

An accredited builder in Tasmania may receive accreditation with conditions or restrictions. As is true in other states, a patio builder may have accreditation restricted to non-habitable or non-structural types of building work.

Accredited builders in Tasmania must have:

  • Public Liability Insurance and
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance.

Building Practitioners in Tasmania must renew their licences yearly. Part of the renewal process includes proving they have undergone Ongoing Professional Development (OPD) training. Hiring an accredited Building Practitioner in Tasmania helps ensure you are hiring a professional who is up-to-date with current building practices and legislation.

Patio Builders - Australian Capital Territory

ACT Planning and Land Authority (ACTPLA) issues four types of trade licences to building professionals in the Australian Capital Territory:

  1. A Class A Builder (unlimited) can undertake all types of building work.
  2. A Class B Builder (medium rise) is restricted to work on buildings 3 storeys or lower in height.
  3. A Class C Builder (low rise) can perform building work on structures 2 storeys or lower. Class C builders also are limited to building work on a restricted number of residential building classes and non-habitable structures such as garages, carports and sheds.
  4. Class D Builders are authorised to do non-structural building work only.

Patios are classified as “non-habitable structures,” so your patio builder will probably hold a Class C licence. Their licence may further restrict or endorse them to perform related types of work such as roofing or erecting steel structures.

Patio Builders - Northern Territory

The Building Practitioners Board is responsible for registering builders in the Northern Territory. Builders in the NT must be registered if they build new habitable buildings such as houses, townhouses and residential units. Registration is not required for the following types of building activities:

  • Renovations to an existing building if they not increase interior floor space;
  • Free-standing sheds or fences;
  • Verandas or carports added to existing homes or units;
  • Commercial or industrial units; or
  • Mixed residential/commercial buildings.

While a patio builder is not required to hold a builder’s licence in all parts of the NT, some more populated counties require builders to hold “Home Improvement” licences. Check with your local council for regulations that apply in your area.

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