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.
In New South Wales, a patio builder may need one or both of these trade licences:
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:
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".
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.
Two types of builder's licences exist in South Australia:
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
ACT Planning and Land Authority (ACTPLA) issues four types of trade licences to building professionals in the Australian Capital Territory:
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.
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:
While a patio builder is not required to hold a builders 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.