Do I need a permit for a carport?

Are you planning to add a carport to your home, but are faced with the pressing question: do I need a permit? This depends on several factors, such as the dimensions of the structure, its location on the plot (front or rear yard area) and local regulations. From 1 January 2024, the new Environment Act will come into force, replacing all previous legislation in this area.

Usually, no permit is needed if your carport is smaller than 30 square metres and no higher than 3 metres. The carport must be placed in the rear yard area of the house. However, a permit is often required for structures in the front yard area. The advice is to hire a professional to submit permit applications. We can take this off your hands in its entirety.

Front or rear yard area?

If you plan to have a carport to be installed, it is important to know whether you want to do this in the front or back yard, as the rules for permits differ. 

In general, building a carport in the front yard area is more likely to require an environmental permit. This is because structures in this area affect the streetscape more and stricter rules apply to preserve the appearance of the neighbourhood.

It is easier to build in the rear yard without a permit, thanks to so-called "permit-free structures" regulations. However, there are still restrictions based on size, height, and distance from plot boundaries.

Establishing the property boundary

Establishing the rear yard area may seem complicated, but it is actually quite simple, especially for terraced houses. For a terraced house, the front garden counts as the front yard area and the back garden counts as the rear yard area. For corner houses, semi-detached houses, or detached houses, the situation is slightly different. For these house types, the rear yard area is usually defined as the area that starts 1 metre behind the front facade of the house and extends to the rear plot boundary.

For the necessary information, please contact the Land Registry, even if you think you know for sure where the plot boundary is. It is important to do this because the plot boundary may have shifted over the years due to prescription.

How big and high can a carport be?

If you are considering building a carport without applying for a permit, it is important to know the dimensions within which this is possible. Carports may have a maximum height of 3 metres. Furthermore, you are allowed to build on a certain percentage of the rear yard area without a permit, depending on the size of your garden. For smaller gardens (less than 100 square metres), you may build up to 50% of the garden with outbuildings, such as a carport, without needing an environmental permit.

Read more: The ideal dimensions of a carport

Comply with the Built Environment Decree

The Built Environment Decree (formerly building code) is a document containing all building regulations for various structures. The carport also falls within the Bbl. This is particularly important if you are getting started with a carport construction kit. Before you start building, we always recommend consulting the latest building regulations and rules of your municipality.

Fortunately, the carport has few requirements within the Bbl. In fact, it states that the carport must be structurally sound and that it must not lead to moisture problems in the house. If you hire a professional, you won't have to worry about this. Shift to Solar ensures that the carport meets all these requirements.

In short, do you need a licence?

So in certain cases, you don't need a licence for a carport at home. However, it is important to meet the following points:

  • Make sure the carport falls within the permitted dimensions for permit-free construction
  • The carport must be placed within the rear yard area
  • The structure must be safe and comply with the Building Works Decree on the living environment

Before starting construction, we recommend always consulting your local council's latest building regulations and rules or to contact contact our professionals. At Shift to Solar, we want to make things as easy as possible for our customers; therefore, we offer to take over the entire process of applying for a permit, relieving you of the burden and getting the application underway quickly. This ensures a smooth construction process and avoids any unpleasant surprises afterwards.

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Juliet Siebelink
Employee Shift to Solar
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