Dec 16, 2016 10:08 pm
I have a garage that is connected internally to my house. The garage is part of the same slab and same roof structure as the house and is already lined with plasterboard. There are no structural changes that would be required with this renovation.
I want to convert this into a bedroom with ensuite and robe. I've had a look through the BCA and by definition it would appear that a garage is a Class 10a structure and I would therefore require building approval. However, given that the garage is structurally connected to the house I don't understand practically why it wouldn't just be a Class 1 structure, therefore the work wouldn't require building approval.
Can someone clarify this for me?
Re: Can a private garage be a Class 1 structure?2
Dec 18, 2016 6:21 pm
An informal discussion with your Council will be helpful. In principle, the Council might be interested to know that new foul water connection is compliant with relevant regulations. Same thing applies with insulation and means of escape. Other things to consider is the impact to your home insurance or to selling your house in future. Good luck to your project
Re: Can a private garage be a Class 1 structure?4
Sep 07, 2017 4:07 pm
A bit late on this one, and I'm sure you would have got the answer by now, but I'm going to respond in case anyone else finds the following useful.
Yes, but it won't be easy. Treat it as any other building work you are doing and run through the following dot points -
Having said all of that, there was a legal case in Queensland and I can't for the life of me remember which one, where the lawyer argued that even though the plans read garage, the Building Approval never mentioned Class 10a, so, therefore, the entire building was deemed a Class 1a. I personally don't agree with this, but it does highlight that this argument has been tried before.
Good luck on your project, hope it all did work well for you.
Wons - Residential Building Certifier
Re: Can a private garage be a Class 1 structure?5
Sep 07, 2017 5:14 pm
Great answer from Agile but just to add: what if you convert it to a bedroom and forget to install smoke detectors and children die in a fire?(Just recently children died in a fire in Tasmania in a converted garage)
You have got to go the extra mile to get it right, so you and those dearest to you can sleep easy.
Red tape can be a real pain and expensive, I will give you an example:
Recently I added a garage to my home in Tassie, red tape $6K, then I decided to apply to use the garage as a bed sitter and register the residence as short term stay and opened a Pandora box. The application for development (planning) triggered coastal protection overlay and wastewater management overlay and opened the application to objections. So what happened?
1 Coastal protection study and a report $ $3800, recommendations and compliance $25k+(I have to build revetment along entire length of the house facing the beach (climate change bul$hit)
2 Septic upgrade with new effluent beds, Report $900, compliance 10k+
3 Building surveyor report + compliance 2k+
Foremost Building Expert in Australia,assisting with building problems/disputes, building stage inspections,pre-contract review advice for peace of mind 200 blogs http://www.buildingexpert.net.au/blog
Re: Can a private garage be a Class 1 structure?6
Sep 07, 2017 10:56 pm
Ouch! that revetment wall and septic upgrade sound rather nasty in $$ terms...
Not to rub salt in, but when I do get queries like this from clients wanting such a conversion, I usually take a deep breath and go into my usual spiel about the requirements and it usually scares them away. However, I have the funny suspicion that it's only scared them away from getting the building approval but not from actually going ahead with the conversion. Anecdotally it reflects what I see when I drive around the suburbs of the Sunny Coast where I'm from, lots of garages with sliding glass doors and curtains, but in all my time as a Building Certifier, I think I've only ever issued like 2 or 3 building approvals for such conversions.
With regards to your comment on smoke alarms, fortunately, or unfortunately here in Queensland, we have additional smoke alarm requirements on top of the BCA. In a rare exception, it's being enforced retroactively on existing homes over the next decade meaning every bedroom must now have hard-wired interconnected photo electric smoke alarms. It has come about due to the slacks creek fire that killed 11 a few years back.
I say fortunately because for some it will appeal to their sensibilities that at least 'something was done'. I say unfortunately because I used to work for the ABCB (Australian Building Codes Board) and the cost benefit analysis showed that additional smoke alarms will cost more than it saves, meaning rather than more regulation, perhaps better education campaigns would save more lives and cost less to the community. But what do I know, the hoi polloi nod their heads in agreement, the fire brigade who are majority funded by the insurance companies would be asking for mandatory residential sprinklers if they could get away with it, the smoke alarm suppliers can't help but show their pearly whites at the thought of selling 5-6 smoke alarms per house instead of the 1-2, and the politicians slowly clasp their hands with glee at the thought of the optics at being the "savior" to announce this monumental change in regulation... eh... do you detect a hint of cynicism...lol
There is a reason why these additional smoke alarm requirements are not in the BCA. The other states and territories realise it costs more than it benefits... but I digress yet again...
Wons - Agile Approvals
Wons - Residential Building Certifier
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