Do You need permission to add mezzanine floor?

Posted by Hugh Frame on

We know that a Mezzanine floor is a cheap and effective way to use space in a building, but do you need planning permission to add a mezzanine floor before you start?

For anyone in Australia the answer is often, “Yes, you need planning permission”.  A quick check on Google may highlight the answer, “ Typically no planning permission is required for the mezzanine floor due to the fact it is built within the existing building and can also be labelled a 'non-permanent fixture', however, in some cases it may be required and it is always a good idea to seek advice first.”. You must note that this comes from a site in the UK, Australian rules are different.

And again – the answer might be “No”

Do You need permission to add mezzanine floor? Mezzanine floor kit photo

Working with local councils is never straight forward. A longer answer would be, it depends on local requirements, as all councils seem to be different!

It depends on the size and the anticipated use of the new structure. Your council will make decisions based on the anticipated use and make considerations on any impacts to the general public’s safety, fire risks, etc.

It might be decided that it is only minor internal works and you will be informed that no planning permission or building permit is necessary.


Mezzanine Floor Building Regulations

There are a few regulations that apply to mezzanines. Not surprisingly these include the structure and how it is built. The maximum loading on the structure you choose is considered. Also, a number of ‘standard’ regulations for buildings including fire safety, ventilation, lighting and acoustic/sound regulations. These are all building health and safety requirements to make sure that your mezzanine floor is safe and “fit for purpose”.

All mezzanine levels must be designed and installed to meet all relevant building regulations. It makes sense to ensure the safety of all users, including yourself.   

Planning Permission for Mezzanine Level

Every new mezzanine floor in your home or work premises, will need a planning application to the local council. This is not necessarily a difficult task. Use a professionally supplied mezzanine kit with full certification, site-specific for your address. There will still be a couple of on-site issues you can address yourself. These may include acoustics, ventilation, lighting, etc, which can be done from the premises.

The one thing you do not need to concern yourself with is the fact that a Professional Choice Mezzanine is safe, structurally sound and fully certified to all relevant Australian Standards.

What is Planning Permission for my new Mezzanine level?

A Development Approval or Planning Permission is approval from a local council for a new or revised building plan.

Development Approval is required to ensure that new buildings do not overly-interfere with the current existing environment and that the new proposed build is suitable for the area.  

After your application is submitted, your local planning authority assesses the application against things like the environmental impact and the necessity for the development.

Engineering drawings of the new mezzanine floor must be given to the council or their representatives.

As stated above, your proposed use of the new mezzanine floor and its total area may mean that no planning permit is necessary.

In larger installations, it is also important to check that a building work permit is not necessary. There are a number of criteria that will exempt the need for a building work permit and these should be checked.   

Mezzanine Floor Fire Safety

Any building must adhere to the strict fire safety regulations that apply nationally. Think of your new mezzanine level as a new building and ensure it is fire-safe. There are usually rules about the use of fire-resistant materials and having enough fire alarms and lighting. If you are intending to install an office area or enclosed area on the mezzanine, then consider the use of fire-resistant doors and windows. You may also be required to install a sprinkler system.  

Structural Strength for a Mezzanine Floor.

You must ensure that your mezzanine is strong enough to cover the regulations for load-bearing. In most cases, it is best to have a free-standing mezzanine which means that the structure will be certified according to the regulations in its own right. If it is free-standing, you do not need to be concerned about the strength of load-bearing walls or ensuring that there is adequate support for the existing roof or ceiling.

With a Professional Choice Mezzanine, your mezzanine will be designed to support the load you require.

What happens if I don’t obtain a necessary building permit?

This short article is a general guide to advise you to make any necessary applications before installing a mezzanine floor. In most cases, a small mezzanine will require very little local council input. It is an easy application process to check on your local council regulations.

It’s not worth the risk of installing a mezzanine without checking first and doing any necessary applications. If you fail to do this your cost could be huge if anything goes wrong!

This, at worst, could result in imprisonment if there was a fatality connected to your illegal structure. You will certainly invalidate your insurance cover on personal injury and on the building. At best you will face a fine from your local council or fire authority.

Summary - Do You need permission to add mezzanine floor?  

A small mezzanine may not require any permission, but it is your responsibility to check with your local authority before you consider installing a mezzanine floor. It is always best to be safe than sorry! If a local building permit is required, having a fully certified engineering plan, specific to your site address, should make any application a reasonably straight forward process with your local council. You can not go wrong with a certified engineering design from Professional Choice Sheds for your mezzanine floor project.

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