building & design tips

Take inspiration, tips and advice from our specialist design and building team

Tips For Building in a Flood Zone NSW


Australia is world-renowned for having wild and often unpredictable weather. Over the past several months, we’ve had bushfires, floods, and incredible storms.

When it’s time to start planning a new home build, it’s important to consider how these wild weather conditions will impact the construction process - for example, the council approval process and which home designs will reduce the vulnerability of your home in the unfortunate event of a flood.

In this blog, we explore building in a flood zone in NSW specifically, and all the things you need to consider before deciding to purchase a block or build a new home.

#1. How do I know if I’m in a flood zone?

According to the Australian Building Codes Australia (ABCA), living close to a creek, river or major storm water drain can put you at risk of flooding in wild weather conditions. It is also possible to be at risk due to a low-lying area.

If you’re planning to build in a flood zone, the NSW State Emergency Service (SES) recommends creating a plan for you and your family in the event of a flood. You can find local flood plans here.

#2. Areas considered not to be “flood prone areas”

Flooding can often happen where we least expect it. However, the ABCA has outlined certain situations where water problems would not be considered a “defined flood area”:

  • Part of flood areas which are prone to mudslides or landslides during long periods of rain
  • Part of flood areas which are prone to storm surges and coastal waves.

If possible, these areas should be carefully considered when searching for new land or places to build.

#3. It is not possible to guarantee a home built within government regulations will be safe from flooding

According to the ABCA, the flood zone building standards are designed to reduce accidents and injuries in the event of a flood.

However, it’s also important to note there is no guarantee your home will not be subject to flooding. The ABCA’s standards are not a stand-alone solution to flooding. Reducing the risk of life and injuries in the event of a flood depends on a comprehensive set of measures, for example:

  • Limiting building in flood zone areas (like floodways)
  • Planning for flood hazards
  • Flood mitigation measures
  • Flood warning and emergency response planning
  • Following building standards.

If these elements have not been addressed ahead of building, there’s no guarantee that flooding can be avoided or minimised. It comes down to how committed you are to the block of land and how thorough you’re willing to be with your flood defences and planning.

#4. House designs for flood prone areas


Image: ABCA. Ideal house design for flood prone areas.

If you decide to build your new home in a flood prone area, it’s essential to figure out what kind of house design would be ideal for your unique block of land. For example, the ABCA has provided an “ideal” outcome above, where there are “non-habitable floor areas” and “levels” in the event of a flood.

At Montgomery Homes, we’re committed to ensuring the safety, comfort, and happiness of our customers, no matter the weather. We use special building techniques and materials to minimise flooding damage, for example:

  • Bearers and joist. This flooring system uses a timber support structure to lift your home off the ground and give you access to underneath the house. This method can also provide a clear pathway for water to flow through in the event of a flood.
  • Concrete slab. Our team will bring in fill to build the new home and create a slab floor level above the required flood hazard line.
  • Tiles instead of carpet. One consideration is swapping carpet for tiles throughout the house. Tiles are more durable and water resistant, plus they’ll make clean-up easier after a flood.
  • Install air conditioning and the hot water system up higher. This will ensure these systems aren’t damaged in the event of a flood.

In the planning process, we will determine how intense the threat of a flood is on your block of land, then we will discuss potential changes we can make to your home design to reduce potential flood damage.

#5. Approval processes for building in flood zones

  • CDC. When development is proposed in a flood zone, a council or accredited building certifier can issue a complying development certificate (CDC) in accordance with development standards for flood controls.

    The general requirement is that the home complies with the Building Code of Australia (BCA). However, in the planning and construction process, we’ll take care of approvals for you.

  • DA & CC. On a piece of land where flood planning applies, the consent authority (for example, the local council or current land owner) can issue development approval (DA) based on the flooding risk. This ensures the appropriate measures are taken to manage risk of life from flood.

    Following development approval, an application for a construction certificate (CC) will be reviewed by the BCA. They will determine whether the safety measures and provisions implemented will be acceptable for your new home.

Again, it’s important to remember that Montgomery Homes will take care of these applications and approvals for you. We will be with you every step of the way, making the approval and building process easier from start to finish.

Get in touch with our team for more information on building in a flood zone in NSW

Building a new home can be exciting, life changing, and daunting all at the same time! However, we’re here to help.

Our goal is to make the home building process much easier. We’re the experts in building complex homes, from sloping blocks to narrow blocks and even homes in flood prone areas. We’re known as the go to home builder when building in flood zones.

For more information on building in flood prone areas in NSW, get in touch with our knowledgeable sales team. We’d be more than happy to discuss your home building needs.

Similar Blogs

All Articles
  • All Articles
  • Blog
  • Building Process
  • Featured
  • Finance Tips
  • Home Designs
  • Inspiration Gallery Blog
  • News & Events
  • Selections Gallery
  • Selections Gallery Blog
  • Styling & Inspiration
  • Sustainable Living

Your Complete Guide To Building In Newcastle

Looking for a fresh start in Newcastle? We’ve created the ultimate guide for building in Newcastle, from statistics to building options and designs. Learn more.
Read in full

Helpful Questions To Ask A Builder

Building your first home can be bewildering. To make things simple and stress-free, we’ve created a list of helpful questions to ask a builder. Read on.
Read in full

How To Compare Home Builders

Choosing a builder for your new home can be tough. In this blog, we share seven steps to help you compare home builders and make your dream home a reality.
Read in full

7 Steps to Building a Granny Flat

Want a little extra space or privacy in your new home? With Montgomery Homes, you now have the option to add a granny flat to your backyard, creating additional room for visitors who want to stay overnight, teenagers who need their own space, or even a small area for older relatives like Nan and Pop to live.
Read in full

8 First Home Buyer Tips to Make the Process Simple and Stress-free

Becoming a homeowner for the first time is life changing - this could be your forever home! It’s one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, and a valuable one at that. As a first time homeowner, the home building (or buying) process can be a little overwhelming. There are so many options to choose from - you can buy a pre-existing home or you can build a fresh home that's customised to you; you can compare home loans and rates, or consider a guarantor…
Read in full

What is a Dropped Edge Beam and Why Do I Need One?

When building a brand new home, it’s possible to get lost in all the building jargon. While we do our best to make the process simple to follow and understand, it can be helpful to learn certain phrases and building techniques so you have a better understanding of what’s happening with your new home build.
Read in full

Your Guide to Building in a Bushfire Zone

Following what has been dubbed “Black Summer” in 2019 to 2020, it’s natural to be concerned about building in a bushfire zone. Australian bushfires are infamous for being catastrophic, widespread, and hard to contain. It’s a major concern for all Australians.
Read in full

How to Make a Sloping Block Work For You

There are lots of advantages to building on a sloping block. For example, you’ll have incredible views of the neighbourhood on one side of the house, the kids will love rolling down the grassy hill in the front or backyard, and the interior of the house will have a unique, light-filled and spacious design.
Read in full

Tips For Building in a Flood Zone NSW

Australia is world-renowned for having wild and often unpredictable weather. Over the past several months, we’ve had bushfires, floods, and incredible storms. When it’s time to start planning a new home build, it’s important to consider how these wild weather conditions will impact the construction process - for example, the council approval process and which home designs will reduce the vulnerability of your home in the unfortunate event of a flood.
Read in full

Join our newsletter to receive our latest promotions,
news and helpful building and design tips