Jul 29, 2020 9:53 pm
Our builder had asked us once we finalised our build and had the house landscaped please send pics through for final occupancy certificate.
We recently had house landscaped and a timber deck off our alfresco. I took pics and sent it away and the certifier said the deck doesnt comply it needs to be 900mm from boundary due to fire separation requirements whereas we have a small deck off our alfresco 800mm or so wide from drop off alfresco to the fence (safety concern that someone will fall the edge.
I sent him a few emails asking if I can tile over it, or put concrete in, my neighbours house is 2900mm from boundary line but he's replied back saying none of those are permissible, just rip up deck send pics through once done then I can get it certified.
My subcontractor who built the deck said he's doing this stuff all the time due to narrow width of blocks these days and its unfortunate.
Spent a fair sum of $ building the 'deck extension' off the alfresco area and it really makes the area functional and safe seems very disappointing that there's no alternative.
Has anyone ever been in this scenario before or can shed some light on the BCA requirements?
Area scribbled in red is non complying as it encroaches 900mm away from boundary:
Final Occupancy Issue - Landscaping2
Jul 29, 2020 11:12 pm
Do the plans your builder submitted for your building permit show your deck being built to the fence?
Some ideas - You may need to show that by building to fence- you still do not overlook into neighbor’s yard and also meet fire regulations.
You may be able to amend your deck by adding a material that is fire resistance level(FRL) to 60:60:60 to height of deck. One of these materials I heard about was 12mm wide so doesn’t need to impact on aesthetics. You can also get some of these materials that are designed for aesthetics and can be installed above the deck along fence if that is what certified wants.
We have a building appeals board in Victoria that was also helpful and discussed the BCA requirements and how related to decks and spelt out what was required to appeal if that was what I required.
But my draftsperson did have to consult with the building surveyor to design in way they were also happy with before I built it.
Some registered building surveyors interpret the BCA differently for decks and only accept the FR material going above deck too and other requirements.
You may need to pay the certifier to consult with you/review plans to help come up with an alternative.
Before tearing up- Get some advice from a draftsperson or builder and/or appeals board about design and materials and then consult with your certified to see if there is a compromise using what you learn.
Re: Final Occupancy Issue - Landscaping3
Jul 30, 2020 10:20 am
Unfortunately I had commisioned the deck to be constructed by my own subcontractor after the build was completed with an interim occupancy certificate.
I checked I didnt need council approval, but wasn't aware of this requirement (in my view if I put a concrete pathway there, the timber deck provides the same purpose).
I asked if I tiled over it (non combustible material) but my certifier stated no that's not permissable either as a tiled area must also maintain a 900mm setback.
My neighbours home is almost 3 metres from boundary, but the certifier stated this doesn't matter according to the regs.
My huge mistake and it seems there's no way out but to undo all the lovely decking and put a garden there or something else..
If I'd have done decking after having my final occupancy certificate no problems I guess...
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