Building Renovations - Legal Ceiling Heights Can Affect Designs

When you're looking to purchase a home in Brisbane or other Queensland areas, one of the considerations is - can I extend or build-in underneath the house?  Many of the older style homes have what was originally a breeze way to allow better air ventilation for cooling as well as to keep termites away.  The structures didn't take into cosideration that you'd want to enclose the area for living space and therefore more often than not it is not the legal height.

The Building Code of Australia's requirements are for when you build a new dwelling or extend an existing one you have to be very clear about ceiling heights for habitable rooms.  A bedroom, lounge or rumpus are considered “Habitable Rooms”, while kitchens, laundries and hall ways have different height restrictions.

A habitable room requires 2.4m from the finished floor to the lowest part of the ceiling and kitchens or laundries  require 2.1m. Read more about ceiling height restrictions.  There are also different rules for sloped ceilings and rooms that are not intended for extended use. The reasons for all the rules include safety, health and sustainability as well as meeting energy efficiency and termite protection standards. 

If you're buying or selling your property and need a house inspection to determine what is and isn't the legal house height - please book a time for a building inspection today.

If there is any doubt about a ceiling height - you should speak to your local council:

Brisbane City Council - altering character houses

Ipswich City Council - building approvals 

Logan City Council - building and planning

Gold Coast Council - planning and development considerations