Building permits for terrace roofing – these are things you should know.

9 minutes
Baugenehmigung für Terrassenüberdachung

There are quite some people wanting to fulfill their dream of a covered terrace. Unlike of a sun canopy or an awning, the roof should be more robust – for example, a fixed terrace canopy made of wood or another material that can be implemented structurally. But when implementing such a project, which legal provisions should be taken into account in order to avoid fines or even having to dismantle the whole thing again?

Whehter a building permit is required or not depends on the construction project in question as well as on local guidelines. In this article, you will find out about certain points to consider when planning your terrace roofing in Austria and Germany. 

Building permits for terrace roofing in Austria

Whether you build your own terrace roofing or commission it: In Austria, the circumstances under which you require a permit for your roofing, depend on the specific location where it is to be implemented. In addition, there are a few other legal aspects to consider when planning to construct terrace roofing.

Terrace roofing in Austria – subject to approval or free of approval?

Whether or not you need a building permit for your terrace roofing depends on the Austrian province you live in, and in addition it can also vary from municipality to municipality. Since even supposedly minor external changes to an already existing building such as a terraced house sometimes require approval, you should definitely contact the responsible building authority in advance.

The state building code can give you a first idea about applicable building regulations – here you can find general specifications regarding the building code in your state. These regulate, for example, the type of building materials to be used, minimum distances or fire protection provisions and they have to be observed in any case. In addition, there may be municipal development plans stipulating how and where a garden shed or a carport may be built.

Basically, the height of the plannedfree-standing terrace canopy serves as an initial indication of whether you need to have it approved by the building authority or not. Amongst other things, this is stipulated in the applicable provincial building regulations - more detailed information is available on theprovincial government's service page.

What you need for your construction application

In case you need a building permit for your terrace roofing, you must submit a corresponding building application. Depending on the construction site, this may have to include different documents such as:

  • Building application form
  • Description of the planned building
  • Floor plan (building sketch) as well as renderings of the planned construction
  • Statics
  • a simple site plan of the property to be built, which you receive from the land registry
  • Building permit procedure, signed by the architect
  • Building permit procedure concerning the statics, signed by statics issuer

What else to consider in Austria

You should talk to neighbors and owners of neighboring properties about your plans. It may also be necessary or at least sensible to ask for written consent – for example, if the planned building is to be located near a property boundary.

Building permits for terrace roofing in Germany

Similar to Austria, the German authorization requirements for terrace canopies are not uniformly regulated. Rather, it depends on the federal state you want to build in. Nevertheless, irrespective of which state you are in, there are certain clues you should keep in mind when planning to protect your terrace from sun, wind, rain and snow.

Terrace roofing – building permits required in Germany?

As already mentioned, the exact building permit requirements when planning and building terrace roofing in Germany depend on the construction site. Apart from the general construction planning law, individual regulations can differ greatly, depending on whether your terrace roofing should be in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein or Saarland. Among other things, the so-called allowances are regulated differently in each federal state – meaning the measurement allowances for construction projects not needing an advance permit.

However, these allowances are just one of the individually regulated factors, which is why you should contact the authority in charge before starting your project. Find the respective authorities and how to contact them on this info page.

What else you should consider when planning terrace roofing in Germany

Even if your construction project seemingly doesn't require any authorization due to its size, this does not mean that you should simply go ahead and start constructing. Contact someone with the necessary technical expertise and present your construction project to the administrative office responsible for your area. Let them give you written confirmation and any further information regarding your project.

To prevent issues, you should also consult with any neighbors - under certain circumstances, their written consent for your terrace roofing should be obtained.

The STROHBOID gazebo as a terrace roof – what to take into account

The wide range of sustainable, stylish outdoor solutions available from STROHBOID's product portfolio includes a terrace canopy in the form of a gazebo. Available in different sizes, the STROHBOID gazebo is ideally suited to make previously fallow open spaces usable all year round – both for the private sector and to guarantee higher sales stability for restaurateurs, hoteliers or campsite operators.

In addition to observing local regulations and local conditions such as the proximity to the neighboring property, the gazebo's dimensions should be measured against the allowances regulated at federal state level. In some cases, the necessity of obtaining a building permit can be circumvented by erecting a STROHBOID lounge on a trailer, for example, making it mobile, or by declaring the building as mobile or temporary, which may require dismantling it again after a certain period of time (before it is rebuilt again).

Conclusion: It is worthwhile to do some research in advance

It turns out that the building regulation law is a complex matter that is not yet uniformly regulated so that laypeople can quickly lose track. It is therefore worthwhile to call for expert support in advance. In addition, you should visit the authority responsible for your area and also consult with your neighbors, letting them know about your construction project.

A small hint: Obtain any information, confirmation and consent in writing in order to avoid potential future issues with the construction of your terrace roofing.

Please note: All information in this article is without claim to completeness, correctness and legal certainty. In the case of a concrete construction project, you should contact the authority responsible for you in advance.

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Fritz Walter

DIPL.-ING. Fritz Walter

Gründer, CTO