What requires a Building Permit?

Building Permits

Generally, a building permit is required for all significant building work, and includes the construction, alteration, addition, demolition or removal of a building. Works ranging from fences sheds, pools and spas, garages, verandahs, dwellings, and commercial and industrial construction will require a building permit.

Building permits are issued by Building Surveyors. Building inspections are undertaken by either a Building Surveyor or Building Inspector. (Note that Planning approvals are separate to Building Permits and are issued by a Councils Town Planning department).

Both Council and Private Sector Building Surveyors may issue building permits.
The Building Act 1993 and Building Regulations 2006 legislate that most building work is subject to the issuing of a building permit, prior to any work commencing. This includes works of a value under $5,000.

To obtain a building permit:

  • Apply for a building permit through your Council or a private building surveyor.
  • Pay the appropriate fee (note that there is no prescribed fee structure, so speak to the Building Surveyor about how their fees will be charged). Ask if your Building Surveyor uses the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors Fee Scale as a guide.
  • Submit at least 3 copies of drawings, specifications and  associated documents with a completed application form   to your private Building Surveyor (note that your Building Surveyor will assist you as to what information will be required)

Once you have lodged your application with a Building Surveyor, they can issue a permit with or without conditions. The Building Surveyor or Building Inspector will then undertake all relevant building inspections. Private Building Surveyors will lodge a copy of your building permit with the local Council for their records.

There are some minor types of building work that are exempt from the issuing of a building permit. This is work that is of such a minor nature that the protection and advantages that a building permit can provide are not necessary or will not be achieved. For example a building permit is not required for the replacement of an existing kitchen for the purposes of maintenance using similar materials, where it does not involve any structural work, as it would generally not have any adverse effect on the structure of your house (Note that registered Electricians and Plumbers may be required and may need to issue compliance certificates). On the other hand, re-blocking or re-stumping an existing building requires a building permit; as may removing an internal wall, or providing a new door or window. This is because it may affect the structural soundness of a building and is deemed structural work.

Ensure you do your research before you commence any building work. For advice on which works need to comply with the Building Regulations, or whether your building work requires a building permit, please contact us.

Why get a Building Permit?

The Act prescribes penalties for anyone who does work without a permit. However, compliance with the Act and Regulations should not be the key motivator for people when they are arranging for a building permit.

The Act and Regulations provide benefits to consumers. They are a system of control on construction of building work. They establish, maintain and improve standards for the construction and maintenance of buildings, enhance the amenity of buildings and protect the health and safety of people using them.

Quite simply, building permits are designed to protect your building and, more importantly, you.

There are many other good reasons for having a building permit. The building permit ensures:

  • The required building practitioners are registered and carry insurance.
  • Adequate documentation is prepared to construct your building.
  • Independent review of building documentation occurs.
  • Key stages of the work are independently inspected.
  • Your building is independently assessed as suitable for occupation.

Other benefits include the certainty of compliance with building legislation prior to building work commencing for owner builders and building insurers, which can ease the preparation of compliance reports, which may be required when selling your property.

Once approved, a building permit also has a period of time in which building work must commence. As part of the process, the building surveyor who issues the permit must follow the project through to the end, carrying out building inspections and issuing an occupancy permit or a certificate of final inspection on completion of your building work.

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    best law firm February 20, 2024 at 1:37 am |

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    What requires a Building Permit?

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