Do You Need Council Approval For A Pergola?

A pergola can be an excellent addition to your garden, adding shelter or shade to your walkways or patio areas. Incorporate a modern decorative panel style cover to create a unique structure that suits your home. Pergolas have become incredibly popular these days, with many people choosing to add them to their homes. But before you start buying materials or instructing builders, you need to know whether you need council approval to build a pergola.

In today’s post, we will tell you if you need a building permit and walk you through the process of getting approval to ensure that your pergola dreams can become a reality. This guide will have the answers for you if you want to create the pergola yourself or let Apollo Patios do the hard work for you.

Let’s dive in.

Gable pergola

Do I Need A Building Permit To Build A Pergola?

Yes, you typically do need a building permit to build a pergola.

But keep in mind, this can change depending on where you live and how big your pergola will be. So, it’s always smart to chat with your local government council or a building pro before you start your project.

We know getting a permit might seem like a bit of a challenge, but it’s essential for making sure your pergola is both safe and above board.

While regulations and approval processes will differ depending on the state and council an approval will usually review whether or not the project will meet the following:

  • Boundary and front setback rules
  • Planning, zoning controls and overlays
  • Management and collection of Stormwater
  • Engineering of the structure (if required)

At Apollo Patios, we handle all permits and approvals, so you don’t need to add stress to your workload.

Pergola furniture

How Can I Build A Pergola Without Council Approval?

The short answer is this is not advised. It is also best to check with your local council or certifier as some councils might have additional building regulations that your pergola must meet before being built.

Once you have satisfied your council. You can either build the pergola yourself or contact Apollo Patios for a custom-designed pergola. Apollo, handle all permits and approvals for each project they build, and work with the council and certifiers on your behalf.

Build A Pergola

Why Do I Need Council Approval To Build A Pergola?

Pergola structures need council approval for a few reasons, and you should be aware of them before building commences. Here are a few things to consider:

Complying With Regulations

Council approval ensures that your pergola meets the necessary regulations including the Australian Building Code. Although regulations are generally similar across the country, it’s best to check as some councils might have additional regulations or requirements. The regulations ensure that your pergola is built according to legal and planning regulations and will be safe for you and your family to use.

Maintaining Aesthetics

Councils often have guidelines to ensure that new structures do not impact the neighbourhood’s visual appeal. Council approval ensures that your pergola meets any aesthetic guidelines. These guidelines might be stricter if you live in a heritage conservation area.

Elimination of Unlicensed Builders

Obtaining council approval helps to prevent unlicensed builders from working on your project. This guarantees that only qualified professionals will be involved in constructing your pergola, ensuring it is built safely and will be suitable for use.

Protection during Property Sales

When selling your property, it’s important to be aware of potential liabilities associated with structures that lack council approval. Failure to secure approval can result in liability for the property owner, even 10 years or more after the sale. By obtaining council approval for your pergola, you can avoid such issues and ensure a smooth transaction when selling your home.

Avoiding Fines

You are at risk of hefty fines, expensive alternations, or needing to demolish the pergola if the council discover the pergola was built without a permit or approval.

Waterfront pergola

What Is The Council Approval Process?

Every council can have different guidelines regarding approval for pergola construction. However, they usually follow the same basic principles. A step-by-step guide below breaks this down for you:

Step 1: Speak To Your Local Council

Contact your local city council, who will be your go-to source for the requirements and rules your pergola must meet to be correctly constructed.

They will inform you whether or not you need a permit and any steps you must follow to gain a permit.

Step 2: Hire A Professional Pergola Builder

Hiring a professional builder isn’t a necessity, but we recommend it. A local builder will be aware of the local government guidelines for pergolas and will have an insight into what the council approvals usually look like. They can guide you in creating a pergola that will be approved by the local council and constructed swiftly.

Apollo Patios has registered builders nationwide, providing you access to a local builder who can help bring your pergola dreams into reality. Apollo Patios will work with you to customise your pergola, handle the paperwork, and have the pergola assembled quickly using the best possible materials.

Step 3: Get Building Approval

Once you have a design for your pergola and a builder ready, submit your application to your local council. Should you use Apollo Patios, we have a designated team of experts who handle the planning application process. They are experts with all local regulations, ensuring that your application is submitted correctly with the required detail and documentation.

If you are successful, you will be given a building certifier or certificate of approval from your council. This confirms the design of your pergola and that it has been assessed with the building code of Australia and approved to proceed. This is your green light to start construction.

Step 4: Begin Building

With the correct paperwork, you can start building your pergola. You must follow the approved plans to avoid any violations that could leave you with fines or expensive alterations.

If for any reason you do not need a permit to build your pergola, you can confirm your design with your builder and skip straight to this step.

Pergola freestanding

Why Should You Use Apollo Patios To Build Your Pergola?

You should use Apollo Patios to build your pergola for several reasons outlined below.

An Extended Warranty Period

Complete peace of mind is guaranteed with an Apollo Patios pergola. A structural warranty comes with every pergola, reassuring you that it is built to last. You can also enjoy up to a fifteen-year warranty on the paint coat used to deliver a long-lasting colour that you don’t need to worry about touching up.

High-Quality Materials

All the pergolas we create are built with high-quality materials that will last for years. The materials used are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, so no matter where you live in Australia, your pergola can handle extreme sun, snow, and even storms.

Flexible Financing

To make pergolas feasible for all, we have flexible finance options that you can use. Allowing you to start enjoying your outdoor area sooner. Ensure you can afford your repayments before taking out finance or speak to an advisor if needed.

Customised Designs

We work with you to create a unique, customised design that will suit your home and lifestyle. Our pergolas are designed to offer a comfortable, aesthetically pleasing and functional living space.

Regardless of the format of your outdoor space, we can create a pergola that will enhance your home allowing you to create precious memories with your family and friends.

Hassle-Free Planning Process

At Apollo Patios, we don’t leave planning approval to chance. Using our dedicated team, we handle all the paperwork, submitting planning approval or building permit requests for you.

We also ensure that your pergola will meet any necessary building regulations in your area, so you don’t need to worry about rejected plans slowing down your pergola construction.


How Close To A Property Boundary Line Can I Build A Pergola?

Property boundary regulations can vary from council to council, but typically, your pergola must be at least 1 meter from each lot boundary to avoid impacting your neighbours’ homes or obstructing their views. A structure must be at least 6 metres off the front boundary. Check with your local council to ensure any additional permits such as a relaxation is applied for before building your pergola.

Can I Install A Pergola Over An Easement?

An easement or asset is something that belongs to the authority and may pass through your land. Your property title will show any easements to the land, such as a sewer or stormwater pipe.

Often an easement means you are not able to build in this area. However, your local council can advise further, as the rules vary depending on your state and the type of easement.

Need Help Designing Your Pergola? Book A Design Meeting With An Apollo Patios Design Consultant

Use Apollo Patios to create a unique pergola that suits you and your lifestyle. With endless customisation options and a registered builder in your area to bring your dream to life, there is no better option than an Apollo Patios pergola.

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