Terrace roofing - when is a building permit necessary?

Even for a simple terrace roofing, depending on the state, a building permit may already be required. In addition to the region and the construction area in which one lives, the size of the roofing plays a role in the planning permission.

Inconsistent regulations in the countries

Whether you need a building permit for a simple terrace canopy depends on various factors. In the vast majority of cases, a building permit is necessary.

Unfortunately, this building permit is also not uniformly regulated within Germany, so that each state and sometimes also each city or municipality prescribe its own rules for the granting of the building permit for this small project.

Cross-border rules

Basically, a patio roofing is usually a conversion or expansion project to an existing building. This always requires the demand from the local building authority.

But even if the canopy is to be erected free standing in the garden, usually a permit will be required. Here, the same rules often apply as for carports.

In many cases, a terrace roofing is permitted without permission, if the enclosed space is not more than 30 cubic meters. That may seem like a lot at first glance, but with a room height of, for example, three meters, the floor space is only ten square meters.

The material is secondary

The size of the project is, in most cases, the deciding factor for the need for a building permit, in addition to the region in which it is planned to build. The material that you want to use for the roofing on the terrace is completely irrelevant.

So there is no difference between a patio roof, which rests on wooden stands or metal pillars. It does not matter which roofing the client chooses for his roof. Here you can usually choose freely between safety glass, double-skin sheets or corrugated plastic sheets.

Federal states and their building regulations for terrace roofing

Here we have compiled a rough overview of the individual regulations. Unfortunately, these can also change quickly and also be significantly stricter locally in individual construction areas.

Therefore, builders should inquire for themselves what exactly is currently valid on their property as a building code before buying a kit for a patio canopy.

Baden-Württemberg, Lower Saxony and Hesse

Both terraced roofs and carports up to 40 cubic meters are not subject to approval here if public-law conditions are met - these can be viewed at the local building authority. In most cases, however, such as in Lower Saxony, the construction documents must be submitted to the building authority.

Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saarland and Hamburg

All you need is a drafting author for the building application. A statics is then not necessary except in the Saarland. In Hamburg, the front garden development with a patio roof is difficult and excluded from the scheme.

In addition, a distance of five meters to the driveway or the property boundary must also be maintained in Hamburg. On the other hand, however, a boundary development of up to eight meters is possible at the same time.

So it does not help, you always have to ask the building office what exactly fits your own property.


According to the overviews, which are available for the Berlin building regulations, a complete building application with all documents is necessary for almost every patio roof or also for a carport in Berlin.

Brandenburg and Rhineland-Palatinate

Up to 50 cubic meters and 3 meters ceiling height canopies on the terrace here permit-free if public-law conditions are met. These conditions can be viewed again at the local building authority.

These may be exceptions that relate to a direct environment of monuments or outdoor areas, ie land that is not in the development plan or in the local area.

Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein and Thuringia

Both carports as well as garages and terrace roofs are to be built without authorization here. But too much joy would be premature, because in new building areas or in terraced housing estates, there may be stricter building regulations that can prevent the construction of a patio roofing.

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Bremen

For the two federal states, various contradictory statements were found. The local building codes speak in each case of the usual 30 cubic meters, which may be built without permission. However, only carports are named in it.

Since many different details have been found here, it is particularly important to have a written confirmation, if the building authority is of the opinion that no building permit for a patio roof must be present.

No terrace roofing without rules

If you build a terrace roof without the necessary building permit, you are even liable to prosecution and may have to pay a fine. But that's not all, you have to demolish the roofing of the terrace again.

Since the information at the building office costs nothing in itself and as you can see, a lot is at stake, financially and nervously, you should already inform yourself before buying the terrace canopy at the building.

Obtain written confirmation

It is also useful to have the information given in writing, especially if no permit is required. Not every employee is state-of-the-art in every department and oral statements will not help you in the case of a dispute.

Forms that belong to the planning application

If you want to submit a construction advertisement or a planning application, many forms are required. The building application with further documents must be signed by the client as well as by the author of the design. Here is an overview, which documents are necessary.

  • planning application form
  • Construction description and overview of the production costs
  • Architectural drawing with floor plan, sections and views
  • statics
  • simple site plan of the building land of the cadastre - this may not be an old copy or copy of a previous building.
  • Form simplified building permit procedure with signature of the draftsman - this may be the architect or civil engineer
  • Form simplified building permit procedure for the statics with signature of the exhibitor of statics

Tips & Tricks

Instead of a patio roof, you can attach a sun shade, if the effort for a building permit is too much, or you probably get no building permit. Even for a commercial awning no planning permission is required. Both the awning and an awning can not replace a full terrace roofing, but protect something from the wind and weather and are visually mostly very attractive and priced very affordable.

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