Home Renovation on Bushfire Prone Land
Planning a renovation, extension or new home on Bushfire Prone Land is our area of expertise. The design, the type of materials and roof systems that are going to be used will be impacted by the BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) rating requirements for each property.
We are well-aware of the rules and regulations for renovating in bushfire prone areas, as we have worked on many projects ranging from the lowest to the highest BAL ratings. We have very specific experience working with the following Sydney councils:
Each project has been designed, approved and constructed to the approval of both Council and client.
How to know if your land is Bushfire Prone and the BAL rating.
Often people are very clear that they are on bushfire prone land, simply because the view from their windows shows them the lovely view of the bush – this is often why they bought the property in the first place.
It is not always as simple as having the bush view to know if your property is “Bushfire Prone Land”. A good way to find out initially is to contact us and we should be able to give you some information straight away.
Ultimately a 149 Certificate, which is issued by the local Council, will confirm whether your property is bushfire prone or not.
However what a 149 Certificate will not tell you is the level to which your property is bushfire affected. The assessment of the level of risk associated with “Bushfire Prone Land” is commonly known as the BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) rating. There is a range of BAL levels,
- BAL-FZ (Flame Zone)
Every property has its own individual BAL rating. Your property may be similar to your neighbour’s rating, yet your property will need to be assessed individually. The best way to know your exact rating is to use a Rural Fire Service Approved Consultant.
Designing and planning your renovation – is it all too hard and what is possible?
We always use our Approved Bushfire Consultant before commencing design, since the BAL rating will affect how your property is designed and constructed. The good news is you can build on properties with any of these BAL ratings, from BAL-Low to BAL-FZ.
For the higher ratings, like BAL-FZ, the construction requirements become more stringent and therefore more expensive.
By knowing what the BAL rating is before the design is started, we will know the type of materials that are going to be suitable i.e. whether timber can be used or not, and whether the house may have to be constructed out of masonry, or the type of roofing system that can be used.
Construction requirements will impact on the cost of the building. It is best that decisions are made at the Concept Design stage, then you can be sure that you don’t have to make any last-minute design adjustments that will push the costs up.
Council approvals for renovating in bushfire prone areas
Approvals for the two highest levels, which are BAL-40 and BAL-FZ, can only be obtained by Development Application to your local Council.
If, however, our Bushfire Consultant has ascertained that your site is BAL-29 or lower, then we may be able to apply for a Complying Development Certificate (C.D.C.), but only if your design meets all other C.D.C. requirements.