Living in an area where a bushfire can occur requires thoughtful consideration when planning construction projects like a Melbourne timber verandah. While you might not think of Melbourne as a location where bushfire is likely to occur, we are in fact surrounded by bushfire prone areas. This is particularly the case in the north eastern suburbs and the areas around The Dandenongs.

In this blog, we’ll explore some of the factors to consider and guidelines to follow when contemplating the construction of a Melbourne timber verandah in a bushfire prone area.

Building a Melbourne timber verandah in a bushfire prone area

Understanding Bushfire Attack Levels (BAL):

Melbourne, like other Australian regions, follows the Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) system to assess the risk of bushfires and dictate construction standards. The BAL system ranges from BAL Low to BAL Flame Zone, with each level specifying the necessary precautions for building in varying degrees of bushfire risk.

Site Assessment:

Before embarking on any construction, it’s important to conduct a thorough site assessment. Understand the BAL rating of your property, as this will influence the design, materials and construction methods of your timber verandah.

Engaging with a qualified professional like Outside Concepts North Eastern Branch is a crucial first step as they understand the necessary steps in the assessment. If you’re doing the project yourself, contact your local council for a BAL assessment.

Timber Selection:

Choosing the right timber is pivotal for a safe and durable Melbourne verandah in a bushfire prone area. Hardwoods such as Blackbutt, Spotted Gum and Ironbark are renowned for their fire-resistant properties and can be suitable choices.

Design Considerations:

Choose a design that minimises the risk of ember attack and radiant heat exposure. This involves keeping the verandah simple, avoiding enclosed spaces, and incorporating non-combustible elements wherever possible. Elevated platforms and non-combustible balustrades can enhance safety.

Ember Protection:

Embers are a significant threat during bushfires. Implementing features like fine metal mesh screens beneath the verandah can prevent embers from accumulating in vulnerable spaces, reducing the risk of ignition.

Compliance with Building Codes:

When building any verandah it’s important to always adhere to any building codes that apply and this is most important in a bushfire prone area. These codes provide detailed guidelines on construction practices, materials and safety measures in general and specifically in bushfire prone areas. Familiarize yourself with these regulations to ensure your Melbourne timber verandah meets the required standards.

Consider a Melbourne steel verandah:

While building a timber verandah in a bushfire prone area of Melbourne will generally be possible, you may want to choose steel instead. While many prefer the charm and character of timber, steel has many advantages, including its ability to withstand fires and ember attacks.

Let Outside Concepts guide you every step of the way

As highlighted above, it’s a great idea to consult with a Melbourne verandah builder who is a professional and has experience building outdoor structures in bushfire prone areas. A professional builder like Ron Matz and his team from our North Eastern Branch.

Ron and his team can help you with the initial assessment and all the key decisions to ensure your Melbourne verandah will be safe, no matter what the elements throws at it.

Phone Outside Concepts on 1800 601 674 to organise a no-obligation meeting with Ron. You can also submit a form on his website page.

Concept to clean up. Call Outside Concepts for a free quote on 1800 601 674.

Can you build a Melbourne timber verandah in a bushfire prone area? In general you can, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider steel.
Can you build a Melbourne timber verandah in a bushfire prone area? In general you can, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider steel.