That’s it, you have the equipment, the tools and know how to go about it: your future terrace is soon there, you are going to start building it. You have calculated the costs and as a skilled handyman you have decided to do without the skills of a professional.
But are you aware of the regulations? Have you inquired about the local urban plan, about the need to file a building permit? Because in height or at ground level, the construction of a terrace does not generate the same requirements. If you plan to build a terrace, especially if it is raised, it is best to plan ahead, enough time to complete all the necessary administrative procedures. Yes to breakfasts outside, meals in the sun, evenings outside, but you still have to be sure to follow the regulations in force at the time of construction to take full advantage of them.
What is meant by raised terrace and single-storey terrace?
A terrace on one level is a terrace at ground level, that is to say that it is in the exact extension of your home. A raised terrace does not rest directly on the ground but in height. She is like on stilts. This type of terrace is recommended if your land is sloping. For example, if the base of your house is a meter or more higher than your garden, posts – and a structure, will compensate for this difference. But if you are planning a raised terrace, you absolutely must ask for permissions. Take note of the Local Urbanism Plan (PLU) because the construction of a terrace depends on it. And if you are part of a condominium, see with the syndicate what can be done.
What are the regulations for a single-storey terrace?
If you are building an uncovered single-storey terrace, you do not have to declare any work to be done in advance. On the other hand, if you find yourself in the case where your terrace measures between 5 and 20 square meters and has an awning or a roof, you must make a declaration of work.
What are the regulations for a raised terrace?
As a general rule, if your terrace exceeds 20 square meters, a building permit is required from a height of sixty centimeters, since it is a freestanding structure. Also, according to building regulations, a staircase with a handrail and a balustrade must be fixed all around. Stable timbers are needed as a substructure for a wooden deck. A raised terrace requires a stable foundation in which your support posts will later be placed at a distance of one meter. To do this, dig a hole and fill it with sand for a flat surface and gravel for drainage. Then you can lay your posts. After the support posts are in place, a slatted frame should be laid from wooden gratings or planks. It is advisable to choose high quality, durable and stable woods. You can also raise your terrace using masonry. It is this type of construction that you will have to choose if you opt for a terrace with a coating such as concrete, stone or tile.
As said before, if your terrace exceeds 20 square meters and is higher than 60 centimeters, you must apply for a building permit. If your future project is planned to measure between 5 and 20 square meters then a prior declaration of work with your municipality is a prerequisite. Finally, if your raised terrace is less than 5 square meters, no formality is required.
How to apply for a building permit for your terrace?
The procedures for applying for a building permit are as follows:
- Go to the town hall of your municipality to submit a building permit application file.
- Do not start the work but wait for the issuance of the building permit decree: the examination of the file by the town hall of your municipality can take several weeks or several months.
- Display your building permit on your land: anyone passing by your home must be able to read it.
- Send to the town hall your declaration of opening of works.
- At the end of your work, send a declaration of completion, always to the town hall of your municipality.
- Finally, the administration will carry out a check and send you a certificate of conformity.
Terrace construction: in brief, what to remember in terms of authorization
- If your terrace is planned to measure less than 20 square meters, you will be exempt from applying for a building permit.
- If your terrace is planned to measure less than 20 square meters and is raised more than 60 centimeters in height, you must declare your work in advance.
- If your terrace is planned to measure more than 20 square meters and it is raised more than 60 centimeters in height, then you will have to apply for a building permit.
- If you live in a listed or historical place, find out whatever happens to be sure to comply with the regulations in force.